BUSINESS BEAT: Tile team on the move for clients

Rolling samples trailer, all-in-one service give new company niche in tile market

Mobile Tile partners Matt Coste

Despite being just 28, floor and wall tiling expert Matt Coste has plenty of stories about customers’ unsatisfying project experiences.

He’s seen people try to estimate themselves how much material they need and wind up with either loads left over or not enough to complete the work. He’s seen clients spend hours running back and forth with store samples, never quite convinced they’ve found what they want or chosen the right material for the job.

And he’s seen people frustrated with having to deal with two, and sometimes three different people on a job.

He figured there had to be a way to provide an all-in-one service to clients that made it easy for them to move forward on a job and see it completed in timely fashion.

Mobile Tile by Madico – with its signature samples trailer – is proving to be just such a vehicle for Coste, who is out to eliminate what he sees as inefficiencies in the tile business.

The mobile concept is what he hopes will set his company apart. Rather than rely solely on a retail store in a highly competitive Greater Victoria market, he and his team bring pre-selected samples, design expertise, product knowledge and the ability to schedule installation to residential and commercial customers.

“I found I was getting more involved in the decision-making process, and getting more comfortable with (the design element),” Coste says. “And people said it would be great if I could get the tile and have the installation done by the same company.”

After installing for a handful of years, Coste started his own company, Madico Tile, in 2008. Last year, as he looked at ways to grow his business, he linked up with fellow Stelly’s secondary alumnus Seth Finlayson, a University of Victoria business school grad. They created a niche business model that Coste saw could help him achieve his goal.

Except he couldn’t do it alone. Before long, Coste asked Finlayson to become a partner in the business.

The mix also includes tile design specialist, Melissa Stuart, who works out of the company’s newly opened retail storefront/warehouse location on Cadillac Avenue in Saanich. She works with customers on materials preferences and helps determine the sample mix to be loaded into the mobile showroom.

“We’re streamlining the entire process for the professional customer, and for the end consumer, it’s about taking less time,” Finlayson says. “The biggest thing is the fact it makes the process just way less of a pain, and the fact we’re coming with only the products that are appropriate to the job.”

Mobile Tile contracts out most installs to one local company, but Coste likes to do the odd job to keep his skills sharp.

“I’m transitioning (into a consulting role), but it’s still nice to get the tools in your hands once in a while.”

He likes the way things are shaping up for his remodeled company.

“Seth added a ton of legitimacy to the business plan, coming from the business side of things,” Coste says. “And Melissa is good at knowing all the products available, and design, having been working in tile retail for six years.”

At mobiletile.com, potential customers can provide certain details about their job, and book an appointment. They can also be reached at 250-590-5920, by email at info@mobiletile.com or by stopping by the store at No. 1-17 Cadillac Ave.

Sips and Seafood at Inn at Laurel Point

The seaside hotel hosts its annual wine-and-seafood extravaganza on Saturday (July 20). The event features dishes by Chef Takashi Ito and his team, wines from the Cowichan Valley and Narmada Bench, and beverages from Phillips Brewery, Victoria Spirits  and Silk Road. Tickets, $109, are available at laurelpoint.com.

Check out what’s new around the city

Canadian home fashions retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond recently opened its 30th store, taking over the 27,000-square foot former Staples retail space at 775 Finlayson St. More information at bedbathandbeyond.ca … SIS Propane Ltd. bills its new BBQ tank delivery service as the “milkman of propane.” Currently available to Capital Iron customers with an in-store coupon, the service becomes open to the public Aug. 1. Visit bbqtankdelivery.com or call 778-970-2908 for details.

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