Living the American dream

Living the American dream
Published: 06 April 2004

Adonel Concrete will open its third cement-mixing plant in Miami-Dade County. Luis Garcia founder and president of the company said he hopes the new five-acre facility will help the 20-year-old firm keep up with the high demand for cement in South Florida. In two decades, Adonel has been doing some growing of its own. The company now employs 150, has 120 trucks and $30 million in revenue. Experts said the boom in both commercial and residential real estate construction in South Florida is fueling the brisk demand for cement. Construction has been at a record high level since 2000,  and construction industry revenue has averaged an estimated US$5 billion per year in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties since 2000. From 1995 to 1999, the revenue averaged an estimated US$3 billion, based on recorded construction loans in public records, he said.

Florida was a bright spot in an otherwise sluggish national construction picture, in fact, Florida, Texas and Arizona are among the areas where the construction slowdown hasn’t seemed to take hold. The population shift out of the northeast to Florida, Texas and Arizona has undoubtedly helped. Adonel is proof of that. Garcia said revenue increased by US$6 million in 2003, and he’s projecting revenue will reach US$35 million this year and keep growing in the next five years.

Attention to customer service has helped spur Adonel’s growth. Open 24 hours a day seven days a week, Garcia said the bulk of his residential buyers are foreign nationals, especially Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, who own or are building residential properties in Miami. Recently, he has also seen a lot of new business from Germany.

Garcia started Adonel five years after leaving his native Nicaragua in 1979 to escape the Nicaraguan revolution. He was working for a cement company when he decided to strike out on his own. He said he raised $7000 startup money through his family and by selling his car. Today, he continues to run the company by himself ­ with no partners.  Edited report from The Miami Herald.