There have been some rumors out there about companies who own quarries, who mine different varieties of soapstone, etc. As a native of the soapstone region of Brazil and a current part-time resident of the area, I would like to clarify a few issues that are causing “confusion” in the market.
First of all, I can assure you that the soapstone importers/distributors in this country (including M Teixeira Soapstone) do not own any quarries in Brazil. Although you may hear false claims like ” we are the quarry,” or “we are the only company that quarries and imports from its own quarries,” this is simply not true. I personally know most of the quarry owners (not brokers) in Brazil and know for fact that none of the quarries there are owned by any US-based company. The most serious soapstone producers in Brazil (such as OPPS, QTZ, and Rinoldi Soapstone) simply supply soapstone slabs to their clients (including us) in the USA. Now, if being a US representative of a certain quarrier in Brazil entitles you to ownership, then we own many quarries there.
I myself was a partner at a soapstone quarry in the region back in 2003 and 2004, but it did not take me very long to realize that it was not for me. I am in the business of importing, fabricating, and distributing quality soapstone in the USA, definitely not mining it. Mining is a totally different ball game.
I consider my company to be a “soapstone boutique.” My job is to travel the area, visit the quarries, spend time with the producers, and select what I feel meets the quality standards that I have set.
One might wonder how we have such a broad variety of soapstone with so many different names. Well, the simple answer is that we like to offer our clients a variety of looks, instead of only just one. To accomplish this, we have access to a variety of soapstone quarries. If we import soapstone from Barroca quarry and Santa Rita quarry, these stones cannot be just called “soapstone,” or the “original” soapstone. We call them Santa Rita Soapstone and Barroca Soapstone because that is what the locals call them. This also lets us differentiate the unique features of each quarry. As an example, the Santa Rita quarry produces a heavily veined soapstone and the Barroca quarry blocks are much less veined.
I also enjoy traveling and exploring new boundaries. This is why I migrated from Brazil at the age of 17, by myself. My love for travel, business, and soapstone has taken me to many places on this globe. We even offer a few varieties of soapstone from India in addition to our Brazilian varieties. I feel Brazil is a very blessed nation, but mother nature did not assign Brazil as the exclusive soapstone source of the world. Finland and India also have a lot of nice soapstone and I am very proud to be able to offer soapstone from different continents. The US also has its share of soapstone quarries (yes, we have everything in this beautiful country), but cost, quality, and environmental/political issues have brought any production in this country to very negligible amounts.
Thanks for reading.