SANTA ROSA -- A number of local construction companies and suppliers have come together to launch a showroom on a main thoroughfare and at the same time give a little of their slim-to-nil margins to area charities.

North Coast Design Showroom, which opened Thursday at 3854 Santa Rosa Ave., is the new showroom for North Coast Tile & Stone, an installer, and sister company North Coast Marble and Granite, which sells, fabricates and installs the surfaces.

The 3,500-square-foot Santa Rosa Avenue location also will showcase products by Warner Custom Homes, cabinetmaker West End Woods, cabinet refinisher Sonoma Wood Finishing, Asiens Appliances, Energy Plus Wholesale Lighting & Design, Sebastopol-based glass-tile producer Marin DesignWorks, painting contractor Gary Fingers, Italgreen faux turf distributor Shamrock Materials and B&L Glass.

Tom Bodell, co-owner of the tile, marble and design center companies, said the idea was to create one place where a property owner or interior designer could see not only products but also connect with contractors to install them.

“I’ve been contracting forever, but I wanted to generate more business,” Mr. Bodell said. “I was surprised how many wanted to get on board.”

He connected with general contractor Sean Warner of Warner Custom Homes, for whom Mr. Bodell’s companies had completed projects, to bring together vendors for the design center.

Interior designer Michele Linbarger devised the look of the showroom and will serve as the design consultant for customers.

To provide more of a draw to the design center, a philanthropic angle was added. Mr. Bodell’s wife, Martha, a co-owner and head of sales, and her mother, avid area volunteer Marlene Ballaine, came up with a plan to donate 3 percent of the total invoice to the customer’s choice of several local charities. Those organizations are Art Start, Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa, Rancho Cotati Little League, The Living Room, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Sonoma County Museum and Sonoma County Family YWCA.

Mr. Bodell started North Coast Tile and Stone in 1992 and in 2002 partnered with Greg Cassel on North Coast Marble and Granite, which still has its fabrication shop around the corner at 350 E. Todd Road.

The company reached about 80 employees at the peak of the homebuilding boom a few years ago and now has 40 employees. That includes four tilesetters and four helpers hired this year.

“There are still people out there spending money on remodeling,” Mr. Bodell said. “They are really shopping hard and dictating to us what they’re going to pay.”

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