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Ciot in Troy Readies State-of-the-Art Warehouse/Showroom for Nature’s Masterpieces – and Much More

Ciot in Troy Readies State-of-the-Art Warehouse/Showroom for Nature’s Masterpieces – and Much More

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OCTOBER 2018

BY HONEY MURRAY

LBN Community Series
Troy

Jeff Glasener, Vice President of Detroit Ciot in Troy, grins, rubs his eyes, and quickly straightens his sport coat — a tweed that blends some of the same colors as the majestic slabs of stone that surround him.

“We closed a very important deal early this morning, and I just received the contract. Luckily,” he chuckles, “our lawyer will help with those 50 pages!”

Ciot, the stone, tile, and specialty design company begun in Montreal 68 years ago, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Troy’s Detroit Ciot, its first showroom in the United States, and they’ve been so successful here that they are constructing – and have almost completed – a 55,000 square-foot warehouse and showroom, dedicated only to slabs (man-made, or of stone, glass, composites).

JEFF GLASENER

VICE PRESIDENT OF DETROIT CIOT IN TROY

Then it’s back to work on the kitchen renovation the next day with her client, Karrie DeLuca, who sings nothing but praises for O’Brien, from her ever-sunny disposition to her insightful ideas for transforming spaces.

“She did our pool house,” says DeLuca. “”We had lived in Asia and wanted a Balinese look. I met with Rita, and she was able to take what was in my head and make it happen. It was exactly as I hoped it would be.”

DeLuca loved O’Brien’s work so much that she asked O’Brien to do her kitchen. That project should be completed by Christmas.

“Though we offer an endless variety of tile for builders and homeowners,” says Glasener, “our focus area is primarily stone and slabs. Our current, 10,000 square-foot slab gallery is beautiful and holds 1000 slabs. We also have inventory in four other buildings. Our new warehouse will house 10,000 slabs.”

“In states like Florida or California,” Glasener explains, “slabs can typically remain outdoors. Some suppliers store them in Quonset huts or other dingy structures. But in Michigan’s freeze-thaw environment, the material needs to be protected. And our new warehouse-and-showroom is definitely state-of-the-art!”

The outside walls will be clad in slabs and glass.

“It’s designed with a whole new standard of displaying and showcasing the slabs,” says Glasener.

These exotic natural and manufactured slabs are used by over 200 local fabricators to offer designers, builders, and homeowners the precise material to personalize and beautify anything from a countertop, wall, furnishing, floor, or door frame to a corporate lobby, exterior structure, or even to create a work of art.

“We’re not a typical tile or slab company,” says Spielmann. “Ciot is a fashion-forward, trendsetting powerhouse. We sell exquisite hard surfaces instead of fabric and cloth.”

“We love our fabricators.” Glasener says. “The projects they complete with our products and designs are amazing!”

Glasener also loves the business of stone, which he has been in since he was sixteen.

“My dad, who owned a Chicago ad agency and had several factory owners as clients, always got me summer jobs at those factories when I was a teenager,” he explains. “One day, after I’d been crawling around inside a boiler, cleaning it out, my dad had me run an errand for him to a tile and stone company.”

“When that owner saw me in the state I was in,” he continues, “he said, ‘Hey! How would you like a different job? You can start here tomorrow!’  So, I did. After two weeks I was on the floor selling stone and, eventually, was president of a national stone company for 25 years. Now I am here, and it is great to be working at Ciot during such growth.”

Company-wide, Ciot imports over 2500 containers of stone and slab per year – and each container’s area is 5000 square feet.

The stone is gathered from more than 30 countries. Several times a year, owner and architect Benny Spielmann travels to Spain, Brazil, Israel, Italy, India or Africa and works with his team of stone buyers, who help make mining and purchase decisions.

“Our buyers not only need to be geologists, but they have to understand design and trends. They also help maintain our great relationships with quarries around the world,” Spielmann says. “We hand-select the quartz, granite, marble – and even semiprecious pieces of tiger eye, jasper, amethyst – and often buy it in the shape of large blocks. It’s like jewelry in large scale!”

The blocks are sent to specialty processing facilities to be cut and polished into slabs.

“We’re not a typical tile or slab company,” says Spielmann. “Ciot is a fashion-forward, trendsetting powerhouse. We sell exquisite hard surfaces instead of fabric and cloth.”

And now those exquisite, hard surfaces – many of them brilliantly jewel-like – will soon have a new, light-filled, multi-million-dollar, elegant space of their own, at Detroit Ciot in Troy.

Ciot Detroit
1080 Coolidge Hwy.
Troy, MI  48084
248-288-8888
ciot.com

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LATEST TROY POSTS

Halloween Isn’t Just for Little Kids in Clawson

Halloween Isn’t Just for Little Kids in Clawson

The Great Pubkin Crawl for the over-21 set is a team event that combines a scavenger hunt, trivia, games and silly tasks. On Saturday, October 27, players will visit at least five of the eight venues while completing a game booklet solving puzzles, completing tasks and finding scavenger hunt items or snapping a photo. Booklets will be turned in at the end of the night for the prize drawings. Wear a costume and enjoy food and drink specials at downtown spots such as Mojave Cantina, Moose Winooski, Fifty Four West, Black Lotus Brewing Company, Old Detroit Burger Bar, Montage Grill, Tavern on the Main, Renshaw Lounge, and the new Zeoli’s Italian. Proceeds will support the Downtown Public Art Fund. Space is limited, so the organizers suggest pre-registration. Visit the DDA site for registration and more information. Registration will also be open the evening of the event at Three Cats Cafe, 116 W. 14 Mile, from 6-7pm.

Patty LaNoue Stearns, Freelance Writer for Local Business News on the closing of Superior Fish

Patty LaNoue Stearns, Freelance Writer for Local Business News on the closing of Superior Fish

I first met Kevin Dean back in the late-1980s, when I wrote a story about the magnificent selection of seafood at Superior Fish for Detroit Monthly magazine, where I worked at the time. Kevin was dressed up in a wild Hawaiian shirt holding a pool toy for the photo, and we bonded about the fact that we both came from Allen Park.

Zoom forward to this week, when I was in to do another story, this time celebrating the 78th year of his family’s company. Inside the spotless market, I interviewed architect Chris Wzacny of Bloomfield Hills, a 25-year customer who was in every week and greeted by first name. He was there for the wild bass and sea scallops. A first-time customer, Royal Oak’s Ryan Behringer, was there with his son Beckett, after hearing raves from friends about the market. He was looking for some red snapper after loving it in Florida on vacation. A few days later, I learned that it would be the final week of business for Superior Fish. Like so many fans in the metro area, the news was shocking and sad. I stopped into the store. Kevin and I hugged, and both of us welled up.

 

You never want something so good to end, but for the Dean family, it’s time.


Check out our story on Superior Fish written by Patty!

Eye Doctor Using Videos to Educate Patients

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By Beth Robinson

One of the most challenging parts of a health care professional’s job is explaining complex information about conditions and treatment to patients and making sure the patient has the right information when they get home.

It is a frustration that Novi-bred optometrist Dr. Ryan Corte faces regularly in his Charlotte, NC practice. Last spring he had a patient come in about blurry vision in his left eye. It turned out that he hadn’t seen a doctor in years and had very advanced diabetic retinopathy and wasn’t even aware he had diabetes.

“As I was explaining to him the likelihood that he had undiagnosed diabetes, I could see the look on his face how perplexed he was that glasses, at that time, were not a likely solution to his problem. I referred him to a see a primary care doctor as well as retinal specialist. But he never went to either appointment,” says Corte. “I felt like in that moment, when I was educating him, it was almost overwhelming. I think of how many doctors are seeing more patients in less time and the amount of time they have to educate their patients is too little. I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity to break things down so the patient understands it, so they can follow up appropriately and they can follow through with success.”img_1755

Corte wished that there was a simple, video-based resource that he could send his and other patients to for information, but that resource wasn’t out there. So, he created his own.

A photography buff, Corte was one of the few people who had a digital camera in college. He says his passion for photography transferred to video when he realized that it was a great way to educate his patients. He did his research on YouTube, watching videos to see what would be the best format for him and how to set up his production.

The result was Introeyes.com. Founded by Corte, who is also the CEO, Introeyes.com features 30 – 90 second videos that provide information on terminology, conditions, preventative care, disease management, products and services. The topics range from “What is an optician?” to “What is Keratoconus?” In the videos, eye care professionals explain each topic briefly, in clear and simple language, with appropriate photos or diagrams. The videos, which are all hosted on YouTube, are close captioned and each has a transcript below it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0lvo4in-2Q

 

Because the education level of his patients varies dramatically, Corte’s goal was to write the content at an elementary level.

“We’re simplifying the delivery of eye care information for the general public,” says Corte, who believes that video-based content is the wave of the future. “Our vision and our general viewpoint on where we’re going is big. I think we definitely have a very good start. More and more generations are beginning to shift to wanting info digitally.”

Introeyes.com is the first website for Corte, who also owns several other domains, including Introwellness.com, Introtherapy.com, Intromovement.com, Introdiet.com, Intromeds.com, Introsmile.com. His plan is to fill out additional sites with wellness, exercise, diet, medication, and dental content, and have content on all sites by the end of 2018.

“You have to walk before you can run,” says Corte, who got Introeyes.com up and running in approximately two months. He is a self-taught video producer, developing the scripts with a team of eye care experts, mostly in the Concord area, but now branching out across the country. The simple format makes it easy for the professionals to shoot the video themselves, and Corte edits them, and adds photos and graphics to the footage of the professional explaining the subject.

His goal was a simple, professional-looking presentation.aflac-ad

“I built it into my schedule to learn to use the Adobe tools,” says Corte, who devotes one day each week to developing the site. “It’s like riding a bike, the learning curve is pretty steep, but once you learn how, you know.”

All that work paid off with a recent win in the Skimm email newspaper’s Moving On Up startup competition. From a nation-wide pool of entrepreneurs, Corte lasted into the semi-final round of 10, was flown out to Seattle for the final round of 3 competitors, and ultimately won a $2,500 cash prize, 6 months of financial mentoring from Chase Bank, and 6 months of startup mentoring from the Skimm.

Corte grew up in Novi, where his parents still live, and where teaching may have been coded into his DNA. His mother teaches at Mercy High School in Farmington Hills. One of his three older sisters teaches at Saline High School and one teaches at the University of Chicago Hospital. His father just retired from Hewlett Packard, where he was a computer consultant. Explaining things, it seems, is a family affair.


Corte attended Michigan State University, went to Ohio State University for optometry school, and then did his residency in Chicago. He had family in South Carolina, so he was familiar with that part of the country. When he was looking for a place to settle down and start a practice, the weather, the economy, and the stringent licensing in North Carolina, which meant more opportunities for those who qualified, sold him on the Charlotte area, where he recently met and married his wife Alison.
When he’s not teaching himself video editing or seeing patients, Corte lectures to residents on how to fine tailor their clinical skill sets to adapt to the ever—evolving health care industry. He and Alison are involved in Young Affiliates of the Mint, supporting Charlotte cultural institution, the Mint Museum, and running, working out, socializing, being outdoors, and carving out time for their 6-month-old marriage.

Plus, Corte loves to run and work out. “I enjoy every sport you can imagine,” he says.

What is “Word of Mouth?” (Hint) It’s not Marketing

What is “Word of Mouth?” (Hint) It’s not Marketing

By Guy Williams, Publisher of Local Business News

To often small business owners explain their marketing as being “word of mouth” which they mean; they don’t engage in marketing/advertising because everyone finds them through (you guessed it) word of mouth.

First of all, word of mouth is what happens because of the way you run your business.  Good word of mouth is the result of running it well and delivering what you promise, this is what business owners confuse with good marketing.

I always assume that people go into business because they are passionate about what they do, it’s their ego, they think they should start a restaurant because they make the best burgers, sushi or pancakes that the world has ever seen.  That’s a good thing, if after you open your business you notice that new people are coming in because someone told them about your incredible burger, sushi or pancakes, this is your opportunity to invest in marketing without risk.

Why without risk, because you already know that what you’re doing is working, people are referring you to their community, the odds of someone coming in and liking what you’re doing has been confirmed.  People don’t return to businesses because of good marketing, people try a business because of good marketing, they return and tell their community about a business because the business is good.  A business that continues to attract new customers results in those customers encouraging new people to come in, it’s a vicious cycle but very profitable when done well.

Think about this; if 10 people accidentally find your business and they each tell 3 people how great you are and then they visit your business, you have 30 new customers.  Now, if through your marketing effort 100 people find you and they also tell 3 people how great you are, you now have 300 new customers.

There are five things that you should do if your business has a “word of mouth” following:

  1. Pursue media attention to introduce your business to the broader marketplace
  2. Use social networks to connect with potential customers
  3. Use social networks to connect with current customers and encourage their return
  4. Advertise where your customers have already noticed you
  5. Encourage your new customers to tell their community about you (word of mouth) with incentives

When you have created a word of mouth following, you have created an accelerated opportunity to succeed, this is the time to embrace marketing, now is the time to advertise, now is the time to reach out to the community with the confidence that now that you’ve built it, they will come!

We Don’t Sell Interviews on Local Business News

We Don’t Sell Interviews on Local Business News

By Guy Williams, Publisher of LBN

At Local Business News (LBN), the featured businesses and healthcare providers are not charged a fee to be covered by us. We share their article with the local media, who are typically happy to receive a quality story that is publishing-ready at no cost to them.

They are not required to buy advertising, in fact, we don’t sell advertising in that way, we simply report their newsworthy events. What we sell at LBN are sponsorships to corporate brands that have products or services that local businesses or healthcare providers sell or prescribe to their customers or patients.

Everyone benefits from this arrangement, the business gets a journalistically created article that they can post on their website and social networks where potential customers and patients can get a better feel for who they are and what they do.

The sponsor receives exposure to the business’ current customers and to the viewers of their websites and social networks that are looking for a local service or product. This participation conveys the corporate brand’s support and connection to the local business.

What we cover:

Our editorial staff and freelancers are journalists with extensive experience in newspaper reporting and editing. We use the same criteria for our stories as a newspaper would for theirs, focusing on the newsworthiness of each event.

How newsworthy something may be is determined by asking a simple question; “is this of benefit to the reader.” So, blow-out sales, reduced prices or mid-night madness sales are not the types of things we cover, this is the difference between news and advertising.

We look for grand openings, expansions or new locations, business anniversaries, additional staff, new equipment or a new owner of an existing business. There are many events that are considered newsworthy, the best thing business owners or doctors can do is email a brief description of your event to; storyideas@localbiznews.net and we will respond with interest or a reason why we don’t feel it’s a newsworthy story.

LBN sponsors:

We’re creating an LBN series for; eye care, pet care, home design, auto care and a variety of other local business and healthcare categories. The LBN Oral Care Series launching in March, features dentists and orthodontists. A sponsor, the maker of toothpaste, dental floss or other oral care related products would sign an agreement for LBN to create articles in as many markets as they are interested in reaching.