By Janet Stoica
Their many customers in the Webster-Dudley area prompted Graeme and Kristin Mercer to open a new Mercer Monument Works location here. “We were assisting local families with their loved ones’ final resting places and funeral directors here had been using our services too,” said co-owner Graeme Mercer. “Many of them kept asking us when we might open a local showroom. So we did our research and on Wednesday, May 31, we had a ribbon-cutting ceremony with local officials for our new shop.” The main office is in Plainfield, Connecticut.
“Nobody’s ever excited to meet with us,” said Graeme, “but when customers come back to thank us, that’s what makes us feel good about what we do. I’ve always enjoyed helping people and in their time of need, and we try to meet their expectations in the best way possible.”
Mercer Monuments not only sells various shapes and sizes of granite memorials but they also do their own etchings, carvings, cleanings, installations, and repairs. Additionally, they offer stone items such as memorial benches and mailbox posts. They are also involved with U.S. Veterans’ commemoratives such as personalized brick walkways.
Their new business is located near the Dudley Fire Station and visitors will note the unique landscaping around their outdoor displays. The area is very well designed and monuments are arranged neatly and simply. “We like to keep our locations neat and clean,” says Graeme. “The grass is always cut and trimmed and the displays are plainly visible.” Stephen Brainard is the Dudley location’s representative.
How Graeme became involved in the monument business was a direct result of family. His dad worked for the town of Plainfield and began a memorial marker business as a part-time venture. Graeme worked alongside his father since he was a teenager. After college graduation, Graeme entered the heavy-construction industry, becoming a superintendent on many road and bridge projects in New England.
About 15 years ago, his dad asked for his help at the Plainfield company and what started out as a part-time assist turned into a full-time job. Graeme soon retired from construction and bought new property in Plainfield, constructed a new building and shop, and the business has grown steadily since then. They also established a relationship with a similar company in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and have since purchased that business too. The Dudley location is their third.
“Everyone has competition,” says Graeme, “but we like to think we do excellent work that is on time for our customers. Most new setups are completed in 30-45 days. We’re up-to-date on the latest computer software, using computer-aided drafting programs and will create designs to lay the work out properly. All monuments are sand-blasted and engraved in our own sand-blasting booths.” In addition to religious sentiments, some of the personalized etchings Mercer Monuments has done are truly beautiful, including lighthouses, facial portraits, pets, and beach scenes. They have also etched simple drawings of a married couple walking toward the sunset.
Mercer Monument Works customers include former Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell as well as TV personalities requesting yard monuments. Other customers include those who have had house numbers sand-blasted into granite road markers. Recently, they etched Fenway Park and the Green Monster wall onto a marker. These etchings are all hand-crafted and their work certainly shows their striking and customized qualities.
“We have a great group of employees who care about what they do. If you surround yourself with good people, you all do a great job. We pride ourselves on customer service and taking care of our customers,” said Graeme.
Mercer Monument Works is at 110 West Main Street in Dudley. Phone: 508-461-6815. Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Appointments also available by phoning (860) 564-2469. www.mercermonumentworks.com.