Nearby business celebrates 10th year with expansion

Ana Bravo and Marian Bujor are celebrating 10 years in business together and are expanding to San Antonio. (Independent Communications Strategy/Submitted)

European Granite and Remodeling, a locally owned countertop company based in Phoenix, is celebrating a decade in business and is looking forward to its expansion to San Antonio.

Peoria residents Ana Bravo and Marian Bujor are immigrants from Mexico and Romania, respectively. For the two of them, it has been a long journey, but knew they could live out their dreams.

“It might sound a little bit egocentric, but since the first day, I knew that together we could accomplish everything we were set up to do,” Bravo said.

Expansion was always on the horizon for Bravo and Bujor, but expanding to a different state wasn’t always in the plans. The idea of expanding to San Antonio spawned from a phone call from their biggest client.

“Our biggest client called us one day, and they asked us if I knew somebody in Texas that could help them do countertops and I said, ‘Yeah, I can,’” Bujor said.

After that phone call, the husband-and-wife team did research. They said they quickly deciphered that San Antonio was a fast-growing city with an untapped market of people who would be interested in granite countertops.

The company has seen noticeable growth every year since 2012. They doubled profits in 2020 and 2021. They’re projected to double revenue again in 2022.

“We have been growing since the first year, and (the) reason, I think, for that is because we are always looking for new systems, new strategies, new classes, new trainings, new things that we can implement in our business, just to make them make it grow and make it better for our customers,” Bravo said.

Bravo and Bujor will run their business in two states but aren’t worried about being spread too thin. The business model put in place is one that they trust and can easily be followed to assist in an efficient expansion.

“San Antonio is growing just like Arizona; it is going growing pretty fast.” Bujor said. “Everything is a good price for now. If we implement while we run things here in Arizona, we’re going to do very well.”

Bujor, 34, began working for his father in the granite business at 16 years old. After his father sold the company, he stayed on as a manager, but the venture didn’t end up working out.

Though he’s been on his own since, Bujor always knew he wanted to be his own boss. His grandmother opened her own bar when he was a child, and his mother eventually took it over. The business-venture lifestyle is something he grew accustomed to being around.

“Since a very young age, I knew that it was my dream to have a family and own a business,” Bujor said.

Bravo, 38, came from a sales background. She said that before she met Bujor, she sold just about everything and anything she could. She even went door to door selling books. She quickly came to understand how the sales world works and grew to love it.

When she and Bujor began working together, she recognized she was fighting an uphill battle in the granite industry. She said working her way into a “man’s industry” was made even more difficult because English is her second language.

“I had to face a lot of challenges,” Bravo said. “English is my second language, so it was a little bit hard for me, especially to understand new vocabulary in a new industry. So, it was challenging. But it was so exciting. I started loving this industry since the first day. I love what we do. I can now share the passion of my husband for this industry.”

Now having worked in the industry for 10 years, she is proud to see the growth and the confidence in many other women to get involved.

Now recently married and with a son on the way, a relationship in general wasn’t originally even a thought for Bravo and Bujor. The two working so closely together for something they shared a passion for spawned a mutual love and admiration for each other.

“We didn’t have plans to get married or have kids,” Bravo said. “I think I started admiring my husband, learning a lot from him. It was the point where we could not live apart. You know, every day, sharing the place of work, sharing ideas, creating, we were talking about the business and about this dream. We were working so hard together on this project that months later, we decided to get married.”

The duo recognizes they could not be even looking at the opportunity to expand, let alone to another state, without their employees. At the moment, they have nine working in Phoenix and another three in San Antonio.

Bujor said he admires their constant willingness to learn, their never-give-up attitude, and their constant belief in him and his wife.

“I feel really, really grateful for our team,” Bravo said. “We couldn’t achieve too much without them. I think we always have the right person, in a way, to do the things that we wanted to do. And I feel committed to them, I feel committed to every one of them and their family, because I know their family depends on us. Every project, every idea, everything that we have (is thanks to) them.”