“Most importantly, in the fifteen years of working with my father, I learned about being responsible, and as I matured, I understood the idea of having a sense of pride – the kind of pride you get when you go home at night and think, I worked really hard today, and I have something to show for it. I produced a reliable water well for someone’s business and/or family.”
Prior to starting Granite Drilling, my dad, Ted Grachek, worked as an airline pilot. After 7 years of flying commercially, he decided to cut back on traveling and spend more time with his family. In 1970, my dad started a concrete pumping business, and after a few years of working in the industry, he realized that there was a desperate need for water well drilling in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And, in 1972, not knowing how to run a water drill rig, he took a huge risk; he used all of the family savings and purchased a drill rig! And from there, the labor of love……Granite Drilling Company began.
At eight years old, my dad included me in the drilling adventure (weekends/summers). As a kid, I really enjoyed spending time with my dad and working in the business. You heard that right, I enjoyed the work. Yes, I was young, but I was driven at a young age, and I needed direction. I always liked fixing things and being outside, so what better way to spend my time? Each job was a challenge and a learning opportunity. In my younger years, I learned about operating and fixing equipment. As I got older, I learned more about managing logistics and handling stress. Most importantly, in the fifteen years of working with my father, I learned about being responsible, and as I matured, I understood the idea of having a sense of pride – the kind of pride you get when you go home at night and think, I worked really hard today, and I have something to show for it. I produced a reliable water well for someone’s business and/or family.
In addition to working with my dad on the drill, we spent many hours in the air. My father gave me the gift of aviation. If we weren’t out drilling water wells, we were off camping or enjoying the freedom of the sky.
After many good years working with my father, in 1996, I took over ownership/management of Granite Drilling Company. Levering both the strong reputation (client focused) my father had built over the years, and the work ethic he had instilled upon me at an early age, I propelled the business to the next level. Through improving operational efficiencies and investing in new, reliable machinery – which ensures the job is done right the first time – I’ve been able to exceed customer expectations. While I constantly look at new ways to improve operations, investing in machinery, is my #1 business strategy. If machinery fails, then the client suffers, and that’s the last thing I want for my customers or for me.
I’m passionate about the work I do; it’s challenging (isn’t running any business in CA challenging?), and I enjoy exceeding my customers’ expectations. Each job I take on is different – the geological conditions, county regulations, logistic challenges, equipment considerations. And, you can’t beat the locations I drill – Big Sur, Carmel, and Santa Cruz Mountains! How many people get to look out their ‘window’ and see the Pacific Ocean and redwood trees? I’m a lucky man, and proud to be a business owner in Monterey County.