Father-Son Entrepreneurs Develop Sustainable Paving Alternative
The two are relatives of 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' stars, and say their newly developed product will "transform" the paving industry.
Passersby wouldn’t know it from the quiet exterior, but inside their Mahwah home, Anthony Laurita, Sr. and Anthony Laurita, Jr. say they are building an empire. Two months ago, the father-son duo founded Rebound Surfacing, a company that manufactures and installs an eco-friendly alternative to pavement.
The company produces and installs an aggregate-bound surfacing product that is new to the United States. According to the company’s founders, their surfacing product is made of small pieces of rock, granite, glass or other natural or recycled material bound together by an environmentally-friendly resin. The result, they say, is a paving alternative “that will change the industry.”
Rebound Surfacing’s products are porous, so water and other liquids are able to seep through the material into the ground below. As a result, the Lauritas say their product is a solution for many problems caused by traditional paving materials, like the pooling of water, or impervious surfaces becoming potential flooding hazards. The material’s nature also allows it to be much less susceptible to water damage, so “you don’t get things like cracks in your driveway or sidewalk,” Laurita Jr. said.
“It is a brand new concept,” Laurita Sr. said. “It’s a European process that we brought up to American standards, and we are the only company doing this here.”
Laurita Sr., a former real estate agent and construction company owner got the idea for Rebound Surfacing about two years ago, after the economy contributed to the failing of his once-successful contracting business. “I found out about this product, and thought it was phenomenal,” he said. “So, I went to Europe to check it out.”
Laurita originally partnered with a European company to sell their product in the United States, however he severed the partnership when he realized that the resin the company uses was not up to US environmental standards. “They didn’t want to do things the American way, so we reworked the process, and worked with a small chemical company here to develop a resin that is completely natural, but strong,” Laurita Sr. said. “So, we hold the US patents for our manufacturing process and for the resin.”
The pair offer their products to a variety of customers, ranging from homeowners looking to install driveways, pool surrounds, gardens, and patios, commercial customers looking to install paving for corporate parks, schools, hospitals, showroom floors, marinas, shopping malls, theme parks, courtyards, casinos and commercial landscapes, and municipalities looking to lay pedestrian crosswalks, bicycle paths, bus stops, walking paths, side walks, and tree pits.
“This requires way less maintenance than traditional surfacing materials like asphalt or concrete, so homeowners like it because they won’t see cracks in their driveways, and because the material is porous, so it’s not susceptible to things like oil stains from cars,” Laurita Sr. said. “Municipalities and commercial customers love it because it lasts longer and it’s a sustainable alternative.”
Plus, his son added, “this product is completely customizable. Customers can choose what aggregate they want, so things like design and color are limitless. And, since we also lay our own product using an eco-friendly application process, we can accommodate different design elements.” For example, Rebound Surfacing has laid residential driveways with a homeowners’ initials in the design and corporate patios with the company name incorporated into the groundscape.
“We also make the aggregates, so say a customer wants to add solar beads to their pool walkway,” Laurita Sr. said. “During the day, the surface looks normal. But, at night, it is naturally illuminated.” Rebound also makes aggregates out of materials that can serve specific purposes, like pebbles that can be slip-resistant, or playground paving made of recycled rubber, so kids "don't get hurt if they fall," he said.
The ability to manufacture the product in the US is a cornerstone of the company, the Lauritas say. “Absolutely everything is made in America. That is really important to us,” Laurita Sr. said.
As the company expands, the duo says it hopes to contract out to other companies the ability to lay their product for customers. “I am seeing this as something that can go national, and really revolutionize the industry,” Laurita Sr. said. “And in the process, we can help revitalize other small business owners who can start installing our product, and who can get as excited about it as we are. It is just a good feeling, thinking about the impact this could have.”
Laurita, Sr., who describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur” says he comes from a family of innovators. He is one of 11 children, “and we all have different projects going on,” he said. The prominent North Jersey family was thrust into the spotlight when Laurita’s two sisters, Dina and Caroline Manzo, and his sister-in-law, Jacqueline Laurita, signed on to star in the hit Bravo reality show Real Housewives of New Jersey. “That’s probably the craziest project our family is involved with,” Laurita Sr. said.
Though the Mahwah father and son have never appeared on the show, they do keep close contact with their involved family members. Relatives operate their BLK or “Black Water” company out of the Laurita’s home in Mahwah. BLK water became popularized through its affiliation with the Real Housewives.
“I guess it’s in my genes to start new businesses, and this is one I really believe in,” Laurita Sr. said. “I’ve never started a project with a feeling like this, like it could lead to good things and opportunities for so many people, not just for me.” The company has already founded a non-profit entity, “Rebound Responds,” that donates paving to organizations in need.
After working on product development and logistics for about two years, Rebound Surfacing just began installing aggregate-bound paving a few months ago. So far, the company has done work residential work in and around Franklin Lakes, and is in negotiations with commercial and municipal clients around New Jersey and in Florida.
“We have yet to do our first job in Mahwah,” Laurita Jr. said. “But, we are looking forward to doing that one day soon. It’s important to us to be connected to the community we live in.”
Get more information at Rebound Surfacing’s website.