Despite Tough Times, Valley Business Expands

May 21, 2009 8:03:04 PM PDT
Headstones are one of our final tributes to our loved ones, but one marker in the Clovis cemetery also marks a beginning. Dan Halbe created a headstone for his mother-in-law himself after he and his wife found themselves unsatisfied with their experience with the local monument companies. "It wasn't as friendly as we would have wanted it to have been," said Halbe.                    |   Visit Roasted Stone Memorials Website   |

Halbe bought laser engraving equipment to make his own headstone. Now, nearly three years later, making personalized, laser-engraved headstones has turned into a full-time job. "I had no idea it was going to turn into a business. I said, 'I need something, because I want to buy a machine and I'll do the first headstone, and then maybe I'll do some smaller stuff to pay the machine off'. It went out of my hands from there," said Halbe.

Since last fall, Halbe has sold hundreds of headstones over the internet and recently opened a storefront for "Roasted Stone Memorials" in Clovis. Using his talents in graphic design, Halbe says he creates one-of-a-kind memorials. Many include photos. "We tell a story about somebody's life in stone, and its there forever," said Halbe.

That kind of personal touch is exactly what Betty and Carlos Gomez were looking for after losing their 29 year old son, Michael, in March. Carlos wept as he saw his son's headstone for the first time. "Mikey was the center of our lives for 29 years and we wanted to give him a good tribute of his life," said Gomez.

Halbe says the best part of his new business is helping others heal as they lay their loved ones into eternal rest.

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