New slab supplier UK Solmar opens marble warehouse

Marco Cioffe, Director of UK Solmar, at the company’s newly opened warehouse in Bishop’s Stortford.

As the UK left the European Union last year Italian stone company CMP Solmar formed a British company, UK Solmar, in conjunction with Marco Cioffe, an Italian who set up home in the UK 15 years ago to sell Okite quartz.

Now UK Solmar has opened a 600m2 warehouse in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. It is outside the M25 but has easy access to the motorway network and central London as it is close to the M11.

CMP Solmar is an official dealer of Okite quartz but Marco says the new warehouse will sell only natural stone, mainly marble but also some quartzite and granite.

Marco says: “I think there’s a return to natural stone. If you spend a lot of money on a kitchen then see the same worktop in Homebase it’s not very nice.”

Marco says because of the Italian connection with CMP Solmar and because of its shareholding in the UK company he is assured of best quality stone at competitive prices, especially of Italian marbles that are in particularly high demand. Most of the slabs are jumbo size (3m x 2m).

CMP Solmar’s experienced team visits Italian and international quarries every week to select the individual blocks the company wants. It saws and polishes the slabs from the blocks itself to ensure only top quality material is offered to national and international customers.

CMP Solmar was formed in 2013 by the merger of Commercio Marmi Pregiati and Solmar, two long-established Italian marble companies.

CMP Solmar has been supplying the UK market for many years and has a well established name in Britain, which is why the UK company has taken the Solmar name.

The warehouse in Bishops Stortford is a new building, with a pleasant, clean environment appropriate for people coming to view the 1,300 or so slabs that are being stocked there. The company is supplying slab only to fabricators.

Marco says the stock-holding is sufficient because at the CMP Solmar headquarters near Milan and in a warehouse in Carrara in Italy the company has as much stock as anyone is ever going to want, and it is making deliveries to the UK every 10 days.

He says Brexit and Covid-19 have conspired to make life more difficult than it might otherwise have been. Brexit has increased the paperwork involved in importing and Italy’s Covid restrictions were more severe and lasted longer than the UK’s. Nevertheless, he says the warehouse is now well stocked and able to receive customers.

In spite of the shortage of drivers, he does not anticipate difficulties when it comes to delivering the stone. “I have found a very, very reliable courier who knows how to handle the material,” he says.

The address and contact details of the new warehouse in Bishops Stortford are included in the list of contacts on the Italian company’s website.