Local First Arizona member A&E Recycled Granite has sustainability built right in to their business model. Comments Julie Olauson, Marketing & Sales Director for the family owned and operated business, “Our process starts with granite slab remnants, destined to be dumped in our local landfills. We divert that waste and recycle it into usable, easy-to-use building materials. Our process does not crush and reform the granite using chemicals or resins, but splits the stone to expose the natural beauty within.” A&E takes those materials destined for landfills and recycles them into high quality split stone tiles, pavers and fire pits. What could have been waste ends up as beautiful accents for patios, kitchen walls, fountains and everything in-between. A&E materials upgrade the look of any home or business and have been featured in television shows like Fix It & Finish It and Blog Cabin. Originally based in Pennsylvania, the family moved the business to Tucson over 20 years ago where they found a community that was a natural fit for their business. “The Tucson people have an amazingly green mindset!” says Olauson. “It seems that everyone here participates in an eco-friendly activity. Whether it’s riding bikes, supporting local farmers markets, harnessing solar power or finding new ways to recycle, this town is dynamic in its love of nature.” In addition to being a great place to do business, the Olauson family found that Tucson was the kind of place they loved to be. “We love being outdoors, whether it’s hiking, off-roading, or camping. As conservationists we believe in taking care of our environment so we can continue to enjoy it. Starting a company that helps preserve Arizona’s natural landscape was the perfect fit for our family.”
A&E was a natural fit for the Local First AZ community as well. It just makes sense, points out Olauson. “Local, small businesses are the backbone of America. You get the best food, the most creative clothing, and the greatest products when you shop local. When a local company works in and with its community everyone benefits. Only with local businesses can you experience the passion they have for their town and their products!”
A&E is an extraordinary company. In addition to making products that are good for the earth and running a company that is good for the local economy, they believe in giving back to the community and supporting causes they feel strongly about. On Tuesday, September 9th , A & E will be hosting a fundraiser for Homes for our Troops, a non-profit organization committed to building specially adapted homes for the over 1700 Service Members nationwide who have returned home with life-altering injuries. The fundraiser takes place at their location from 5 -7 pm. To rsvp, or for more information, call Julie at 885-8970 or visit them on Facebook.
Why buy local? It’s an easy question for Olauson. “There’s always a local alternative to any product you need. Purchasing local products gives you the highest quality and introduces you to some amazing people.”