For Luca Zagaglia and Nino Cohen, their combined entrepreneurial aspirations have led them to create a lucrative business that stands alone in the natural stone and porcelain tile industry. NY Stone Manhattan has evolved into a multifaceted venture that capitalizes on exclusivity, environmental awareness and expertise.
Luca Zagaglia began his career at Intertek Testing Service (ITS), where he screened international shipments. During his time at ITS, Zagaglia oversaw a company named Marazzi, one of the first firms in the industry to obtain an ISO 9001 Quality Certification asserting the caliber of their products and services. Marazzi was also the first company to develop the technology to make porcelain tiles, an accreditation that earned the company the nickname “Mamma Marazzi.” In 1993, Luca Zagaglia parted ways with ITS and joined the Marazzi family.
After nearly seven years with Marazzi Group, Luca Zagaglia was assigned to launch a new program for the Italian company that targeted floor-covering distributors in the United States. His first order of business was to expand the Marazzi market in New York City, where fate would bring Zagaglia to the doors of NY Stone, a worldwide importer of natural stone that worked exclusively with distributors.
While on an enlightening trip to Brazil, Nino Cohen became enamored with the beauty of natural stone. For Cohen, this sparked an avidity to bring natural stone into the United States market, resulting in the founding of NY Stone in 1988. Cohen and Zagaglia quickly realized the power in numbers, and that together they could develop a dynamic business. Between Cohen’s knowledge of natural stone and Zagaglia’s experience with porcelain tile, the two could create a business that would encompass a broader range of products. From this partnership, NY Stone Manhattan was born.
In addition to distributors and wholesalers, NY Stone Manhattan would introduce a new market, welcoming both architects and designers. The first NY Stone Manhattan showroom was a 2,500 square foot space located on Park Avenue South. One of the duo’s first assignments included a 280-unit project for Philippe Starck, the celebrated Parisian architect. In 2010, NY Stone Manhattan relocated to a landmark building in New York’s Design District.
“We knew right away that the space, the history and the design were exactly what we wanted for the concept that we had in mind.” – Luca Zagaglia
With the change of address came an element that would bring NY Stone Manhattan’s reach one step further—retail. NY Stone Manhattan’s new 15,000-square-foot, three-story showroom features an entire second floor dedicated to a 5,000-square-foot Marazzi display designed by Marazzi Art Director, Gianluca Rossi. The space is a headquarters where customers can appreciate the intricate design of innovative surfaces. At last, the Zagaglia and Cohen vision was a reality.
The NY Stone Manhattan client receives the highest level of personalization through a cultivated visit, from the showroom to the warehouse (located just 15 minutes away from the city). The full service experience involves material selection, fabrication and installation. Due to the company’s strong relationship with quarries, NY Stone Manhattan provides exotic granites and high quality marbles in their Natural Stone Collection, such as Calacatta Gold, Statuary, Breccia Capraia and Wood Grain. Other stones, such as limestone and travertine, are also available in a variety of sizes, colors, thicknesses and surfaces.
Along with the Natural Stone Collection, NY Stone Manhattan offers over 5,500 variations of Marazzi porcelain, crystallized and single-fired stoneware. The Marazzi collection includes tiles such as Concreta, Treverk, Paris and Triennale, a tile designed by Gio Ponti and Alberto Rosselli. Moreover, the brand maintains an engineering division that provides “turnkey” solutions for sector specialists in the construction industry through research, customization, installation and water-jet cutting of special materials.
An additional part of the Marazzi legacy is the adherence to exercising sustainable practices. The “closed-cycle” system is designed to reuse excess output, processing wastewater and the raw materials it contains. The entire manufacturing cycle limits the consumption of natural resources through the optimization of energy consumption, resulting in a business structure based on efficiency and safety. To ensure sanitation, routine technical and organizational inspections are conducted, preserving the well being of the Marazzi staff that work at the company’s plant.
Luca Zagaglia and Nino Cohen have optimized their company’s growth and profitability through genius, exclusivity and precision. Their attention to detail has positioned NY Stone Manhattan at the top of the market as a company that not only triumphs in products, but in the creation of a customized luxury lifestyle.