Progressive Dimensions – Laser Focused

Writer Marirose Krall  |  Location Manahawkin, Toms River, NJ
Ed and Lisette Cassidy

Ed and Lisette Cassidy

Ed Cassidy, owner of  Progressive Dimensions, fine-tuned both his artisanal aptitude and his business acumen at an early age. “I knew I wanted to own my own business. It started with delivering newspapers and mowing lawns and eventually building cabinets and doing carpentry work. I wanted to do something with my hands and decided that my product would be countertops.” His wife, Lisette — a co-owner and the company’s marketing director — says of her husband, “He wanted to marry the skills that he had working with his hands and put it into a business.”

In 1997 that dream came to fruition when Cassidy founded his company. At the time, he was working out of his garage cutting laminate countertops by hand. Now, 23 years later, Progressive Dimensions has two showrooms — one in Toms River, NJ, and another in Manahawkin, NJ. And he’s moved beyond the laminate items that were so prevalent back in the day to countertop products such as granite and quartz. That’s particularly impressive given that he’s largely self-taught in the art of countertop creation. To learn the process, Lisette says, “He would go to a lot of trade shows and really got involved in educating himself about machinery and the industry. He just got so excited and focused on the future.”

Yard

The Progressive Dimensions yard in Toms River

Stone Polishing

Stone is hand-polished at the company’s large fabrication facility.

Nowadays, Ed’s hands-on approach involves taking the reins of high-tech systems. “We are a completely digital shop,” he notes. “Because of that we are more accurate.” The high-tech design process, though, begins with a low-tech activity. “A customer comes into the showroom with rough measurements,” Ed explains. “The client selects a stone, including the type of finish and edges, and then schedules a template.”

Finishing Machine

Georgie Hernandez (far right in photo), Progressive Dimensions’ general manager, controls the company’s newest finishing machine, the Sasso K Lux.

Lisette explains, “We do in-home digital templates to determine the actual size of the counter. The templator brings digital equipment to a client’s home and uses a laser to ‘shoot points’ on the wall to determine the length between them as well as the shape of the countertop. From this data, the computer creates the final drawing of the countertop.”

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Showroom

The Progressive Dimensions showroom in Toms River.

Recently, Ed has invested in a new machine that can “basically take the finish off granite and give the customer a variety of different options. Now we have four finishes: honed, leathered, iced and the standard polish. I found the machine at a trade show and knew I had to bring it to my customers. It’s really cool. Really neat stuff.” Ed’s pride and delight in his vocation is apparent every day. Lisette says, “He still loves doing this work, and that enthusiasm carries over to the guys who work in the shop. If there’s a problem, he gets his hands dirty and works alongside them.”

Manahawkin Location

The Progressive Dimensions Manahawkin location.