Did you know there’s a manufacturing company in town that actually makes concrete block and MANY other masonry products? I didn’t. But as I was assembling my list of companies to visit in Tucson, I came across CABCO (Central Arizona Block Company). Little did I know that this business is a major player in the masonry products industry. You’ll find its manufactured goods throughout Arizona. And it’s “the only locally owned and operated manufacturer in Southern AZ” – started in 1999 by Thomas (Duane) Young and his partners.
As I drove into the parking lot of their plant and main office at 6030 S. Mann Ave I was blown away with how much real estate the operation took up. And the yard was chocker block (no pun intended) full of:
- CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) – a rectangular block (of a standard size) used in building construction. It is often referred to it as “concrete block”. A CMU is typically made by casting a mixture of Portland cement and an aggregate like sand and/or fine gravel.
- Retaining Wall Block
- Fence Block
- Slump Block
- Specialty Block (round column, pyramid, bull nose, center scored, etc., etc..)
- Stepping Stones & Edgers
After exploring their outdoor products viewing area (just to the right of the main building), I entered the office and met a very helpful woman at the sales counter who answered several of my questions. A part of the office is dedicated to displaying samples of various products they sell. They also have a literature rack with a do-it-yourself guide on building patios and paths, a brochure of their Hardscaping Products (pavers, retaining wall products, flagstone), a price list for pavers & retaining wall block, a referral list of masonry contractors, and some written information about products they carry from other manufacturers.
In addition to selling the masonry products listed above, they also sell “masonry related supplies” including:
- Grout Mix, Ideal Mix, Mortar Sand and Pea Gravel in bulk
- Bagged goods: Mortar, Cement, Colored Pre-Mix Mortar, Pre-Mixed Mortar, Lime, Pre-Mixed Concrete, Pre-Mixed Grout, Mortar Color, and Powerlock Sand
- Rebar #3 to #6, Dura Wire 4″ to 12″, Steel Lintels and Beams, some masonry tools
It’s also a DIYer’s paradise. You can come and pick out what you need and take it home with you or have it delivered. This definitely is not just an operation for the “trade”. CABCO prides itself on supplying the homeowner/DI market as well.
Personally, I’m not in the market to build a slump block or concrete block wall (using mortar between the joints) – I’d hire a professional to do that. But if I wanted to construct a; patio and/or path using pavers; a tree well using edge pavers; a fire pit; a flagstone walkway; a gravel trail, a raised bed garden, a retaining wall, etc., etc., etc., I now know where to find all those materials and then some.
And some final notes, CABCO has two other smaller, non-manufacturing facilities where you can buy virtually all the products that are stocked at the main office/plant. And if these locations don’t have what you need, they can order it in from the main plant. The two other locations:
2341 W. Wetmore Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85704
Sierra Vista Office
285 N. Ten Pond Place
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
All 3 locations are open Saturdays during these days/hours of the year:
Saturdays: June 1st to September 30th – (7 AM – 12 PM)
Saturdays: October 1st to May 31st – (8 AM – 12 PM)
If you’re looking for ideas for your yard and garden projects, then Central Arizona Block Company this definitely a great place to start … and maybe finish.