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Meet Tim Connelly and Mondo Fimbres of San Diego Stone Care in Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tim Connelly and Mondo Fimbres.

Tim and Mondo, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
San Diego Stone Care came about out of a necessity to fill a large need to properly care for natural stone, tile and grout. With our previous stone and tile installation company, (“Design Tile”), our customers were always asking, “how do I care for this new floor, shower, or counters?

We have 30 years in the industry beginning with a stone and tile installation business, 13 years of that time spent with a stone and tile product’s manufacture and industry partners. This afforded me knowledge and opportunities that one can never get with a small business.

However, after time spent in a corporate position, I decided I had my fill of airplanes, hotels, and being away from my family, in which San Diego Stone Care began.

We started our small company one year prior to the “great recession” in 2008. Since then have seen almost all the restoration companies disappear in our area. Yet, with our belief that staying constantly on top of education in all aspects of our business, has not only allowed us to sustain our business, but has continued to provide growth into what we believe is the #1 quality stone restoration company in San Diego. Unmatched customer service doesn’t hurt either!

As a family business, my son in law, Mondo Fimbres, now oversees our service business allowing us to expand our educational programs for architects, designers, contractors and of course homeowners. Through several different avenues we provide information and products to properly care for stone, tile and grout successfully. Our mission statement of knowledge, education, and communication is our focus with both our service and educational programs.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Yes, starting a business during the 2008 recession- as the new home industry came to a halt while existing homeowners were putting projects on hold- was the biggest challenge.

Second challenge was getting people to know of our new company. Fortunately, we had a good database from our installation business, as well as good industry contacts who knew us for the quality we offered with our installation business.

Final challenge has to do with the recession effects today! Everyone had to lower prices during this time. (Many companies went out of business) Of course, builders and homeowners benefited with the lower prices but just for a while. What do I mean? The real cheap companies went out of business because as their prices went down so did their quality. The problem today is that homeowners are still under the belief that they should get the highest quality at the lowest price. Don’t get me wrong I too want a “good price” for services I hire out for. However, it takes a certain amount of time to properly care for stone and tile. In a nutshell, even though the economy is far better off today, receiving the price to properly provide proper care services is still a challenge today.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the San Diego Stone Care story. Tell us more about the business.
San Diego Stone Care is a care and maintenance company dedicated to offering quality services to preserve natural stone investments. We provide stone & tile restoration services, products, educational classes and training. In addition, we offer consultations prior to and after the design of all types of natural stone installations.

Our foremost specialty that we are known for is – problem solvers! Because of the vast diversity of stone and tile entering the industry, problems tend to occur. When everyone else has tried, without good results, we get the phone call to provide a resolution.

TIM: The biggest thing we are proud of is our business approach. Yes, we are a business that needs to be financially successful, yet this is not our driving force. Our focus is always on quality service and customer satisfaction. (Ironically perhaps, this approach has made us financially successful) Never will we take short cuts just to get the job done or say “It must have been good enough, I got paid”.

MONDO: We are living in a time where information of all kinds is so easily accessible but not always accurate and beneficial. I am proud of the fact that we do not just provide care services to our customers, we also extend ourselves in providing them with the knowledge and customer support needed to help them maintain the value and condition of their natural stone investment. Hearing a customer say: “Wow, I had no idea… thank you for explaining everything” is a proud feeling.

TIM: We believe our previous stated business approach also sets us apart from others, in addition to this, we are strictly a Stone and Tile Care Company. I am all for other companies getting into this business, however, I would like to see them get educated and trained properly before practicing on customers’ homes. You don’t obtain this proficiency by just attending a one-week stone seminar and adding the tag of “stone technician”.

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Image Credit:
San Diego Stone Care

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