Pompei, Inc.

65 Years

Drew Forrest, president of Pompei, Inc., in the company’s shop with highly trained fabricators on the job.

Current address: 733 Blue Crab Road, Newport News, VA 23606

Contacts and titles: Drew Forrest, president, and Rachel Cox, marketing director

Product or service: Tile, terrazzo and stone fabrication for commercial buildings

Year business was established: 1951.
In 1945, Orlando Pompei moved to the United States from Italy, says Rachel Cox, marketing director. He founded Pompei, Inc., in 1951 and brought extraordinary craftsmanship and workmanship skills that were uniquely his and remain in the company today. Drew Forrest assumed the role of president in 1990.

Reason for locating in Oyster Point:
The business was moved from Howmet Drive in Hampton in 1981, according to Forrest. “Allen Pompei and Bill Forrest decided to move the business so that it would be more centrally located on the Virginia Peninsula,” he says. “The Oyster Point area was the obvious pick due to its proximity to Interstate 64 and the projected growth corridor on the Peninsula.”

Significant milestones: The company recently finished all of the tiling and countertops for Hilton Norfolk The Main, which opened a few months ago, Cox says. Pompei also did most of the flooring at Christopher Newport University, including flooring in Joseph W. Luter III Hall, Freeman Center, David Student Union and Christopher Newport Hall.

A significant story: In the summer of 1998, there was an electrical fire at Pompei Inc.’s Oyster Point location.
“It destroyed most of our warehouse and half of our office,” Forrest says. “We were able to act quickly though, and rented a warehouse and office space nearby while we rebuilt. It was unfortunate but we did not let it hurt our business. Within a few days, we were back up and running, and we continued to work on all our projects.”

Why has your Oyster Point location been beneficial to your growth? “The Oyster Point location is convenient to some of our largest customers and suppliers,” Forrest says. “The close proximity to those we do business with has made us more productive and efficient.”

Plans for future growth: Pompei, Inc. recently began fabricating stone and precast terrazzo products in its Oyster Point location. “This new manufacturing component enables us to combine 65 years of installation experience with custom-made terrazzo and stone products,” Forrest says. “Manufacturing our own products has enabled us to better serve our customers with high quality and timely installations.”

Closing comments: “We have the know-how to fabricate and install monuments, signage, exterior and interior veneers, stair treads, flooring and countertops,” Forrest says. “We are not your typical stone fabricator.” Cox says Pompei, Inc.’s attention to detail and emphasis on extraordinary workmanship is what makes it special. “Also the fact that it’s like a family around here,” she adds. “There is such a fostered sense of community at Pompei that directly nurtures the success of the business.”

About Sally Grace Holtgrieve 6 Articles
Sally Grace Holtgrieve is a full-time freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. Growing up, Sally Grace always checked out the maximum number of library books permitted. One week she would read everything on phytoplankton, and the next it would be Pakistan, Panama or veterinary science. When she got to college, she found it absurd that she was required to choose which subject was the most interesting, so she pursued a career in journalism. Now she learns new things every day and actually gets paid to ask too many questions. When she’s not writing, Sally Grace prefers to be traveling. Recently she went on a trip to Provence, France and on another to Big Bend National Park, Texas. She loved both because they were new and different. In fact, she likes everywhere as long as she’s never been there before.

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