ROXBURY, NJ – It was a quiet morning at Standard Tile of Roxbury and interior designer Celeste DiGisco was on a mission.
She had an idea of what would look great in her client’s home and, standing before a wall of samples, she tried to put it into words. “It has to be classic and timeless and …”
Before DiGisco even finished the sentence, Standard Tile associate Connie Tallon flipped to a new panel, pointed to a potential choice and got a nod from DiGisco.
It’s that kind of service that brings her to Standard Tile, a TAP into Roxbury sponsor, she said. DiGisco said Tallon, long-time employee Pasquale Barbato and managing partner Brandon Curtis have a knack for knowing what she’s after and they’re quick to come up with great recommendations from the store’s wide variety of choices.
“What I like best about Standard Tile is my relationship with the staff,” she said. “They cut to the chase. When I come in, as a designer, I have an idea of what I’m looking for. Sometimes I can’t articulate it precisely, but I have a feel and I run it by them.”
Curtis, a 35-year-old Succasunna resident who’s worked for Standard Tile since graduating from high school, takes pride in being able to satisfy both greenhorn homeowners and experienced professionals like DiGisco. “Celeste has been buying from me for years,” he said. “She’s a really good interior decorator with a good eye. She’s either here, picking out samples to bring to a customer’s house or she’s meeting them here.”
Being the managing partner of the Succasunna store - one of seven in the Standard Tile of New Jersey chain - was a role entrusted to Curtis in 2004 by the Spina family. He’d worked his way up the ranks, starting out as a “warehouse guy” at the Totowa store. He liked the work and due to his relationship with the Spina family it was a natural fit.
“I worked closely with owners Bill Spina and Don Adami during my time in the Totowa store,” said Curtis. “They taught me the ins and outs of the tile industry and what it took to run a retail store. It was a lot of hours and hard work, but they eventually decided to make me their partner and sent me up here to Roxbury.”
The Succasunna location on Route 10 opened in 1963. Back then, Succasunna wasn’t quite the bustling commercial scene found today, but Bill Spina Sr. saw growth on the horizon.
“The property at that point, was the site of a fruit stand,” said Curtis. “Basically, they bought the property from the farmer who owned the land. He moved his farm stand off the property and they began construction of their second retail location. Prior to buying this property, there was a deal in place to buy some property closer to route 80 and 46 where the Ledgewood mall is now. That deal ended up falling through which brought them a little farther east on Route 10 to the current site.”
The Succasunna site proved a good choice. In the intervening years, the Standard Tile store has become a fixture in the Roxbury community, staying successful despite the opening of big-box home supply stores in the region.
“Our customers are very loyal. Many of them have had parents or even grandparents who have bought tile from us. We give customers a level of personal customer service that home centers can’t provide. We also Import everything ourselves so that we can keep our prices low versus other tile stores that buy at wholesale prices and play the role of middle man. Pair that with the selection and quality of our materials and you have a great buying experience for the customer.”
Standard Tile has over 70,000-square-feet of warehouse space full of tile, pavers, stacked stone, marble, slate, granite, porcelain and ceramics. So chances are good it also has anything a homeowner, contractor or designer needs – even one as detailed as DiGisco, who said the Roxbury store staff treats her like a friend.
“I’ve had it where I called them because I needed to get grout for a job at 7:30 in the morning and they left it out for me at night,” said DiGisco. “We have that kind of relationship. You can call them and they’re there for you.”