Oct. 5—Fireclay Tile has acquired Spokane Valley-based Quarry Tile Co. as part of a more than $26 million investment to expand its products and manufacturing capabilities.
The Aromas, California-based handmade tile company on Tuesday announced the acquisition, which it says will boost its tile manufacturing capacity to more than 10 million square feet per year. Fireclay Tile currently produces more than 1.5 million square feet of tile annually.
"We're focused on growth, so we really view this as an investment in U.S. manufacturing," said Eric Edelson, CEO of Fireclay Tile. "We're really excited to work with the team here and grow the business in Spokane."
Edelson declined to disclose financial terms of the acquisition.
Quarry, at 6328 E. Utah Ave., has more than 82 employees, all of whom will remain with Fireclay Tile as part of the acquisition. Fireclay Tile, which has 255 employees, took over operation of Quarry's Spokane Valley facility on Monday, Edelson said.
"We are very excited to take this next step with Fireclay Tile," Sean O'Keefe, president of Quarry Tile Co., said in a statement. "Fireclay's commitment to its employees, sustainable manufacturing practices, and production of some of the most unique products in the industry today made it a natural fit."
Quarry's sale evolved from an ownership succession plan, in addition to its longstanding business relationship with Fireclay Tile. The two companies say they share a commitment to employees and sustainable manufacturing practices, making the combination a "natural fit," O'Keefe said.
"I think in this partnership, Fireclay has pretty big plans to continue to grow," O'Keefe said. "I think we'll continue to be a big part of this community for many years."
O'Keefe will remain with Fireclay Tile as its director of strategic accounts. Heather O'Keefe, who oversaw operation of Quarry's subsidiary, Precision H2O, and Kelly Heck, Quarry's chief financial officer, will stay with the company in similar roles, Edelson said.
Quarry operates a 122,000-square-foot production facility in Spokane Valley capable of producing 7 million square feet of tile per year. Its subsidiary, Precision H20, offers water-jet cutting for special shapes and murals.
In June, Fireclay Tile partnered with Quarry to create its essentials collection, which became its most successful product launch to date, according to the company.
Fireclay also expanded its California factory by 50,000 square feet and installed a second roller hearth kiln, allowing it to increase tile stock and reduce production lead times. The expansion was part of the company's $26.5 million investment in increasing its manufacturing capabilities.
Fireclay is 30% employee-owned and a certified B-Corp. by B Lab, a nonprofit that measures a company's transparency, and social and environmental performance.
Quarry, founded in 1965, makes glazed tile in more than 150 shapes and sizes, and 125 colors. Distributors and architects have used Quarry's tiles in a variety of projects, including single-family homes, restaurants and historic restorations of the New York City Subway and Los Angeles Public Library, according to the company's website.
Fireclay will be looking to fill several production employee roles in Spokane, although the number of positions is not yet known, Edelson said.
"Quarry makes incredible tile. It's the best in class at it, and that was really appealing to us," Edelson said. "They also have a really incredible team and workforce. We're excited to be part of the Spokane community."