Cornerstone Benefits from Edison Project
Tim Clark and Drew Estes formed Cornerstone Columbarium and Crematorium, Inc., in 2013 to meet an after-life experience need in Caldwell County and surrounding areas. Many local cemeteries are at capacity and only a few funeral homes provide cremation services. Cornerstone provides cremation, columbaria and niche walls for churches, existing cemeteries, municipalities and individuals.
They first came to the SBTDC seeking help with writing a business plan, startup guidance, and capital to acquire a location and purchase equipment. Their business counselor suggested that they participate in The Edison Project business competition through the Catawba Chamber of Commerce. Cornerstone placed as a finalist and their counselor’s assisted with their business plan, projections and pitch. As part of the competition, they presented their business plan to a panel of angel investors.
After closing on a $280K loan with BB&T, they purchased a building in Lenoir, NC, and crematory equipment and now have 6 employees. They completed the upfit on the building and began offering cremation services in early 2014.
This story was included in the SBTDC's 2013-2014 Annual Report. It is a corrected version of the story that was highlighted in the printed annual report.