“Mulch, Mulch” More than a one stop shop for your outdoor project needs!
BY: LESLIE FOSTER
Bianchi Brickyard Supply is very much a Family business.
David Bianchi and his wife, Julie relocated from Buffalo, NY to Wilmington, NC in 1996. Five years later they opened Bianchi Brickyard Supply on River Rd in Southport. Son, Mark joined his parents as GM after graduating from UNCW. Rounding out the Bianchi team are Austin Parker and Steve Phillips, both experts in building and construction in their own right. Their combined experience in construction, material handling, sales and innovation combine seamlessly in meeting the needs of contractors and homeowners landscape and masonry projects.
When you visit the “Brickyard” and it’s adjoining landscaped patio you will be pleasantly surprised; the large yard is well laid out and easy to navigate! The patio area allows customers the opportunity to see different styles of masonry applications for ispiration of their own projects! The centerpiece of the patio is “Louigi” a pizza oven. It is fired up on Fridays and serves wood-fired pizza by the slice to customers visiting the yard. Giving back to the community and their customers is an important piece of the Bianchi philosophy. In addition to “pizza Friday’s”, owner, David Bianchi creates unique decorative designs embedded in stone known as “stone art.” “My father has had artistic blood in his veins all his life”, gushes Mark. This is certainly evident in his beautiful stone art, many of which he generously contributed to customers in the greater southport community. At Bianchi Brickyard you may walk in as a customer, but you truly get the feeling that you leave as a friend. Your vision becomes their com- mitment; every project is synonymous with quality, durability and truly is a work of art!
Q. WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?
A. We deal with a diverse customer demo- graphic in Southport and surrounding towns. General contractors come to us for building supplies. They send their clients in for product selections for new home and remodels. Landscape contractors work with us for all their product needs. Homeowners come in to purchase products for almost any project you could imagine. Architects work with us for products selections commonly prior to a project beginning. We deal with community organizations and POA’s for upgrades to their surrounding landscape. Other surrounding businesses work with us for products purchases. Pretty much, everyone walks into our doors and we enjoy that. We have something for everyone.
Q. ASIDE FROM HARDSCAPE MATERIALS, WHAT ELSE DO YOU SELL AND DELIVER?
A. We have grown to sell and deliver steel rebar products for footings, block and all the other products that go with it to build a foundation, multiple types and colors of mulches and topsoil. We have increased our River Rock and gravel inventory so customers have a wider selection, along with bulk material bags to help logistics of deliveries for bulk materials. We sell brick ovens and stainless steel grills; I also like to think that along with products we sell an experience to our customers.
Q. HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR PRODUCTS “GREEN”?
A. Many of our block and paver products contain recycled materials. Our mulches and topsoil are made of recycled materials. We carry pervious pavers that can be used to reduce water runoff and recharge our water supply quicker. We also just began crushing and recycling all of our own brick, block, and stone debris to help reduce what is being hauled to our local landfills. We are extremely excited to offer this to our customers and to make a positive impact on our community by being a good steward!
Q. WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR REQUEST YOU GET FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS?
A. “Can you give us some ideas?”
Q. CAN BIANCHI MEET THE NEEDS OF ALL CUSTOMER, NO MATTER THE BUDGET?
A. With our wide demographic of customers; we have helped people with small projects that only require a few pieces of stone, the patio projects that someone can knock out on the weekend, the house building that requires multiple trips to our showroom, and everything in between. If for some reason we do not have what someone is looking for we try and steer them in the right direction.
Q. BEYOND COST, WHAT OTHER FACTORS INFLUENCE A RESIDENTIAL INSTALLATION PROJECT?
A. Function is what we tend to start out with. “What do you intend on using the patio space for? What type of experience do you want to feel?” This usually tends to lead us to what square footage or size we are dealing with. Then we tend to move onto what is “practical”. Making the space usable is always important. Around this point we can get a general budget range to see if it will fit for the customer. This is the point we can nail down material selections. If everything fits into the general idea the customer envisioned we will make a site visit to make sure everything works. If it doesn’t work we can come tweak the design to make it fit.
Q. PIZZA FRIDAYS?! YUM. DETAILS PLEASE?
A. Pizza Friday’s are fun for all of us at the Brickyard and our customers. We tend to start up a fire in the brick oven in the morning, prep the dough and the toppings, and start cooking just before lunch. We built the brick oven about 6 years ago in our display area with the intention of cooking in it every once and a while. About 3 years ago we started to make it the norm, to cook pizzas on Fridays, since it was such a busy day and we are not able to leave the office to grab a bite to eat. Customers are always around when we are cooking so of course we are going to offer a fresh slice! Since then we haven’t looked back. We made a sign that we put out by the road that says “Pizza Day”. Customers come in to grab some materials and quick pizza on the run. We often get the person that stops by and asks, “what’s pizza day?” It makes us happy to see people get excited to know it was cooked in a wood fired brick oven. We have definitely had fun with it!
Q: WHAT IS JULIE’S ROLE AT “THE BRICKYARD”
A: She is “ the glue” that keeps us all together.
Q: TELL US ABOUT THE OWNER AND FOUNDER, DAVE BIANCH’S STONE ART AND PHILANTOPY EFFORTS IN THE SPT COMMUNITY?
A: My father, David, has always had artistic blood pumping through his veins. He was an art major when he was young. When he was laying brick or stone and had the opportunity to install custom decorative designs he ran with it. Now he focuses on stone art. A lot of days you will catch him roaming around the yard looking for that perfect piece of stone that he can chisel and carve a design into. He has had the great opportunity to donate some of his stone art to fundraisers for local organizations and causes. He donates his time to school training programs for masonry projects. He recently worked with the local Boy Scouts to build an oven at the Brunswick Town Fort Anderson. He truly enjoys sharing his years of knowledge with anyone that is eager to learn.