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Small Business Snapshot: Callahan and Nannini Quarry

Small Business Snapshot: Callahan and Nannini Quarry Credit: Leigh Nannini

Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Leigh Nannini, communications manager at Callahan and Nannini Quarry, an active limestone and shale quarry founded in 1980 that creates materials used for roadways, buildings and other construction projects, explains how this image represents her business.

Nannini explains...

We are a family business in every sense of the phrase, and sometimes this means bringing your barefoot, three-year-old child to a quarry mining operation. My father began this company the year before I was born, so I've been around dirt and rocks my entire life. And my sons are no different, often joining in on excavator rides, or climbing up piles of limestone to see who can reach the crusher conveyor the fastest. We are nestled in a beautiful section of the Hudson Valley and the views from atop of the equipment are spectacular.

We are an active limestone and shale quarry, which means we blast and excavate the earth to create material that'll be used for roadways, buildings, and other construction projects. Our first tagline was "We make little ones out of big ones," and that still applies today: We crush large stone into tiny pieces that create infrastructure.

My father, Bob, started this business is 1980 with one backhoe and a dream to own his own organization. Simply put, he always wanted to be his own boss. The mine he purchased with his business partner had little development but Bob had a vision — a Fred Flintstone vision. And with my oldest brother joining the ranks before his feet could even touch the loader pedals, Bob's vision became a reality.

Safety is an every minute concern when you're working in a quarry. You need to be vigilant, aware, and in constant communication with coworkers. Things explode from the earth. Things crush. Things twist and turn. The danger associated with this industry is why we must adhere to strict government regulations — with good reason.

We are family-run, so my coworkers are my father, mother, and two brothers. My grandfather, who is 93, just got off the payroll a few months ago. We all work together; but we choose to hang out on the weekends, too. The reason this has all worked, and continues to work is because we all do separate things. Each of us brings something unique to the table and we're never competing to find our place within the company. We respect each other's strengths and insights. 

An interesting thing about our business is that our mining operation is also directly neighbored by the Wankaksa Buddhist Temple, which is quite the dichotomy of cultures. As a result, we have to schedule our dynamite blasting around meditation schedules. 

Brittney Morgan

Brittney Q. Morgan is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor, as well as a graduate of Drew University, where she majored in History. Her work can be found all across the web at Apartment Therapy, HuffPost, and more. You can also find her on Twitter at @brittneyplz.