Counter Culture + | History
Our founder, Irv Trachtenberg, now retired, spent years in other career ventures before following a new muse midlife, the stone countertop business, at the encouragement of his son, Stephen, a successful stone fabricator in Gainesville. After extensive training in Florida and with three years experience working for two other stone countertop companies, Irv began Counter Culture Plus in February, 2006, brokering jobs through builders. Desiring a bricks and mortar location, he moved from a business on wheels and sub-leased 739 National Avenue in February, 2007, operating out of that 4000 sq ft location for 18 months.
Growth necessitated more space, and the company was fortunate to find the former Engle Construction building at 944 National Avenue, in June, 2008; building renovations created a 2400 sq ft showroom/office/conference room, 650 sq ft in additional office/storage/kitchen area and 4500 sq ft fabrication facility with a secure granite slab and remnant lot. Four significant events followed:
1) On the heels of our move came the economic downturn of 2008 which changed our revenue stream from 70% builder/30% homeowner to 30% builder and 70% homeowner/remodelor business.
2) Our son, G.J. Gerard, who had worked part time, came on board full time the latter part of 2008 as our “spark plug” sales person.
3) Irv was diagnosed with throat cancer in May, 2009, which required him to be out many months for treatment and changing his role in the company,
4) and, in May, 2010, Sam Bates became our head fabricator and installer, bringing years of experience, working most of that time for Lexington’s leading stone countertop company. His team has logged hundreds of installs and knows more “how-tos” about this business – creating edges from flat polish to complex edge treatments such as triple pencils and ogee with buildups – than any fabricator/installer in the market.
On average, Counter Culture Plus fabricates and installs over 350 projects each year, ranging from remnant to multiple slab jobs with complex angles, unusual islands and radius peninsulas in residential and commercial jobs.
We exhibit each spring in the Central Kentucky Home, Garden and Flower Show at Heritage Hall next to Rupp Arena. And in October, we return to Heritage Hall for The Incredible Food Show. It’s a lot of hard work moving stone and displays in and out,but we have a great time, answering questions for potential new clients and building our network of friends.
As a company, we want to give back to our community, to show we’re grateful for our growth and acceptance. Our primary charitable endeavor is the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, which, for more than two decades, has worked to assure the standards for quality care for residents by identifying, investigating and working to resolve complaints in nursing homes, family care homes and other long term care facilities in the seventeen county area of the Bluegrass. For the past six years, Counter Culture Plus has participated in DECORATORS’ SHOWCASE, which benefits this important agency.
For information, visit their website at: www.ombuddy.org