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Carmen Montes and Carlos Barcenas contributed to this story.
After moving from Veracruz, Mexico, to Minnesota in 1998, Froylan C. Roustand found his passion while working for a company installing granite countertops.
The more experience he gained and the more he learned of the trade, the more he loved it. He decided to move to Nebraska in 2008 to pursue his dream of opening his own business.
“There is more opportunity and less competition here in Nebraska,” said Froylan. “When we moved here in 2008, Omaha was a city that was growing and we saw that as an opportunity for growth too.”
At first, Froylan kept busy doing side jobs. As customer interest in his work grew, he was able to provide his services to others, which opened the door for him to start his own business.
Froylan made his dream official when he opened Husker Granite Top, LLC, in March 2020, in Omaha. With 20 years of experience, he had some established clients he’d worked with for years, and he continued to work hard to grow his client list.
As the business grew, Froylan looked to the Center for Rural Affairs for financial assistance after his wife, Elizabeth Gaona, attended a small business workshop with the Center and learned it offered loans.
“We started blind, but kept learning, and on the way, we found people like the Center staff who have helped us move our paperwork forward and guide us in the right direction in that aspect, then we take care of the work in the field,” Froylan said.
Center staff helped him get funding to expand and make upgrades to his business. He received his loan in August 2022 and was able to buy specialized heavy equipment including a granite saw machine, forklift, and compressor.
Veronica Spindola, Latino loan specialist with the Center, guided Froylan and Elizabeth through the process.
“Since the acquisition of the new equipment, Froylan’s business has grown exponentially,” said Veronica. “He went from doing individual residences to obtaining contracts for several apartment complexes, and his business is so busy that he is booked for several weeks out.”
Veronica says she’s had the opportunity to visit one of Froylan’s project sites and was impressed by all of the logistics involved.
“He is a rock star when it comes to countertops,” she said. “Froylan is very focused and is always finding ways to grow and move his business to the next level, but he is not alone. I believe he couldn't do it without the support of his amazing wife, Elizabeth. Despite running her own beauty studio, she helps Froylan with the administrative side of the business. These two make the perfect entrepreneur team.”
Husker Granite Top is more than countertops. Although the construction-based business specializes in marble and granite countertops, Froylan and his three full-time employees, including one of his sons, also offer other services. They can install marble and granite almost anywhere—walls, fireplaces, bathrooms, kitchens, outdoor grills, and more, in residential and commercial properties. Froylan’s daughter also works part time for the company, helping with accounting.
“To see our clients’ reactions when they see the change in their kitchen is satisfying, especially to know that you were part of their change,” said Froylan. “I think people get bored looking at the same thing, and then you see how pleased they are afterward. It is satisfying to see we did good work.”
Eventually, he hopes to expand his business into other construction areas that are complementary to his granite work.
“As anything, it has been hard, but you acquire the experience and skill to be able to overcome it,” said Froylan. “Do not give up, have faith, and dare to do it, because that is what keeps you afloat.”
He also credits the Center for helping him get his business to where it is today.
“Working with the Center has been good and very productive,” he said. “Other business owners can benefit from them too, because we have had a great experience and it was a great opportunity to be able to start something and purchase tools with that loan.”
Need financing for equipment or repairs for your business? Contact your regional loan specialist. Find yours at cfra.org/lending-staff.
At a glance
Husker Granite Tops, LLC
Froylan C. Roustand
5007 N. 142nd St.
Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.