Q&A with Travis Collins of BC Stone

By George Berkheimer

Sometimes the grass is greener right where you are.

That’s the discovery that led Rodney Bair and Travis Collins, co-owners of BC Stone, to open their business in Everett in 1993.

BC Stone specializes in custom fabrication of granite and quartz countertops, and also offers laminate and solid surface countertops for residential and commercial customers.

From its humble beginnings with only the two owners as employees, BC Stone has now expanded to three shops and more than 120 employees in Pennsylvania and Virginia, with a territory that covers five states.

Both owners have extensive histories in Bedford County, and were previous owners of the Rock Body Gym, the Union Hotel, and several rental properties. Bair spent 15 years as a football coach for Everett High School before retiring after the 2016 season. He is a past board member of Habitat for Humanity and the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce, and a past member of the Everett Lions Club. Collins is a past board chair of the Bedford County Development Association and has served on numerous other local boards that include Unified Family Services, The Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, Junior Achievement, the Bedford County Vo-Tech Advisory Board, and The Raystown Canoe Club.


Q:  You’ve been in business for 30 years. How have you grown during that time?

Collins: We started in the custom granite and marble countertop business and began fabricating quartz counters as they gained popularity. We were one of Lowe’s earliest subcontract countertop fabricators and installers. We’re now the largest supplier in the United States with 114 stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Tennessee. We still work for numerous kitchen & bath specialists, residential contractors and some retail. We have also grown our commercial side. We ship tops all over the United States for clients like Five Guys, Jersey Mike’s, Cheesecake Factory, and Morgan Stanley. In 2021 we acquired a Virginia company that manufactures post-formed and custom laminate, solid surface and commercial casework. We also provide these products for all of our customers.


Q:  Were you always stone guys?

Collins: My background was in auto mechanics, but I began searching for better pay to raise my family. I found work at a stone crushing company and traveled across the East Coast, staying out of town all week, but I was missing too much time with my family, which led to a job at a granite countertop company in Washington, DC. I had to travel two hours one way, but it allowed me to be home with my family at night.


Q: How did your business in Everett come about?

Collins: I found the pay much better in the District of Columbia, but the travel was taking a toll on my personal life and there was no way we were going to move our families away from Bedford County. The quality of life IS so much better here – low crime, wholesome family values, and a beautiful rural setting. I approached the owner and asked him to open a manufacturing facility in Bedford County where we could get better workers. He refused, so Rodney and I decided to strike out on our own.


Q: How intimidating was that?

Collins: We started small, crudely reinvesting the majority of our profits into the company. We had a lot of luck and huge support, especially from our early employees. Many of them are still with us today.


Q: What makes Bedford County a rewarding location for your business?

Collins: We are centrally located in several major markets here. Historically, when one area is slow, another is thriving, so that helps. Bedford County doesn’t see extreme fluctuations in the economy like the bigger cities.


Q: Are there any connections here that you’ve found beneficial?

Collins: The Bedford County Development Association has been one of the best connections and supporters we have had locally. Bette Slayton and the team have worked tirelessly over the years to promote BC Stone and assist in programs and financing. They are a big reason for our success.

The biggest reward is conducting business all day on a national scale and then driving 5 minutes home for lunch with my wife and only 15 minutes to my farm in Clearville.


Q: Who are your customers, and what is your territory?

Collins: Our customers are interior designers, all types of contractors, kitchen and bath specialists, big box stores that include Lowe’s, Home Depot, HDI, Pro Source, The Long Barn, 84 Lumber, and other retail stores. We just finished a huge solid surface to for the West Virginia Welcome Center, along with a project for PPG and several other projects at Penn State’s main campus. Our territory runs from the west side of Philadelphia north to New York, west to eastern Ohio, and south to Knoxville, Tenn., and the east side of Richmond, Va.


Q:  What makes Bedford County special to you?

Collins: This is my home where I was born and raised. All my family and friends are here, and I like the weather about 75% of the time. I love the change of seasons, but I could do without the cold and snow come January. I appreciate the small-town values here. I also love being in the outdoors. My family spends a lot of time on Lake Raystown boating.