“Our official name is The Bamboo Forest, but we are better known as The Stone Quarry. We’ve been around for about 20 years and we started in Hampton.” says Paul Lamberson, owner and founder of the business.
The Stone Quarry began as a wholesale distribution center, with a customer base all the way from Boston, to Florida, to Columbia, Ohio. While it has been around for 20 years, the business only moved to Newport News about 12 years ago, “The primary reason for our move was to find someone who would set up a wholesale stone yard. We couldn’t find one, so we decided to start it ourselves.” Lamberson says.
Officially known as a retail and small wholesale outlet, Lamberson proudly says the business stocks “the most stone in Hampton Roads and always guarantees the lowest price for like material.”
Before starting The Stone Quarry, Lamberson was part of the manufacturing world, working with a Japanese company. His wife’s parents were also in the stone business, although they were based in Japan.
Operating The Stone Quarry has been Lamberson’s passion. “We know everything about stone,” he says. “There is a lot of confusion in the market about stone—people will do anything to sell it. Not us; we will tell people about the properties of stone and how some stone is better for certain types of things.”
Lamberson has always loved stone, and believes that “if you do it once and you do it right, it will last forever.”
The Stone Quarry offers multiple services, including full landscape design and installation, pathway laying, patio laying, retaining walls, residential and commercial work. Some recent projects have involved the city of Norfolk and universities, including the College of William & Mary. Each contract is unique because each stone is unlike any other stone. “We have boulders that weigh a couple hundred pounds to seven or eight thousand pounds each. We can drill them, have water come out of them—basically anything a customer wants,” Lamberson says. “When a customer comes to us requesting an entertainment area outside, I take them from there to creating something that is going to last forever. I need to engineer it to make sure it lasts. Each project is completely unique.”
Lamberson’s favorite part of working with stone is traveling to the operations he has set up outside of the area. An example of this is his operation in Pennsylvania, where he mines bluestone. “In that stone business, we buy all the surface stones from surrounding farms. We walk on someone’s property where they might have up to 500 acres. You see all these stone walls and boulders grown over with moss. It is gorgeous; it looks like Alice in Wonderland,” he says.
While Lamberson has worked on numerous projects over the years, his favorite jobs are the ones that involve a lot of creativity. An example is his recent work for the city of Norfolk in the park, The Friends of the Pagoda. It marks the city’s relationship with a city in China that donated a huge building to be placed in the park. Surrounded by a large pond filled with koi, volunteers maintain the beauty of the park through both donations and time.
Lamberson recounts his time working at this park, specifically noting a memorial he had the honor of creating. “One of the people who helped with the upkeep was a Chinese businessman. To honor the memory of his wife, the gentleman asked me to design a memorial.” Lamberson and The Stone Quarry created a yin yang design which incorporated very large boulders. The memorial was designed with the intent that the yin yang symbol would not be immediately recognizable to those passing by. Instead, it is more easily recognized if looked down upon from a tower. “It has a hidden meaning,” Lamberson says. “It is that type of project that I love.”
Being his own boss, Lamberson says that he does not spend much time on hobbies, because his hobby is his work. However, he does enjoy traveling and has spent a lot of time in China and Japan. He feels lucky to love his job, and with the amount of creativity in each unique project that comes his way, he expects to continue enjoying it for years to come.
TO THE POINT
The Stone Quarry
Address: 371 Chatham Dr., Newport News, VA 23602
Contact: Paul Lamberson