Customer focus is set in stone for leading supplier

Natural By Choice team
Graeme Buchan, Ashley Thomson, Clare Mohadeb, and Joel Sharp


LIVINGSTON-based supplier of specialist stone and slate products, Natural By Choice, has credited its founding principles of only offering carefully handpicked materials and ‘above and beyond’ customer service as the reasons behind its rapid growth from a side business to having turnover of over £3 million in just four years.

Launched in 2020 by Ashley Thomson, who previously held senior roles in the building materials sector for over a decade, the family-run firm initially used its network to aid builders’ merchants in obtaining slate and stone materials that were in short supply amidst the Covid-19 pandemic – with the added benefit of bespoke cuts of materials, an aftercare service, and low carbon transportation on offer.

The high-quality service provided by Natural By Choice, alongside its emphasis on customer service, proved invaluable and the company quickly grew. Today, the business features a growing, but carefully chosen team, and supplies builders’ merchants across Scotland and north England, as well as national and regional housebuilders with premium materials for projects of all sizes ranging from roofing and cladding through to flooring and landscaping.

Much of the firm’s work is repeat business, born out of the company’s desire to create long-lasting relationships with clients. A key factor has been a conscious decision to deal only with superior materials from trusted suppliers, including a series of handpicked independent Spanish quarries, as well as the largest quarry in Brazil, located in the historic Minas Gerais region.

“The products we import are high-end; they’re not commodity products,” Ashley revealed. “The good thing about our products is that they’re universal – you can put them on a modern building, and they fit, or you can put them on an older structure, and they’ll also look in place.”

The business has seen soaring uptake of its Brazilian ‘Beleza’ slate range, which is currently being utilised by a range of housebuilders and on historic renovation projects, including the ongoing renovation of Stirlingshire’s B-listed Ballikinrain Castle. The natural green and grey colourway of the product compliments the Scottish landscape.

Not only is the Beleza range aesthetically pleasing, but it is also currently going through the process of being declared carbon neutral as part of a joint project between Natural By Choice and Micapel Slate, which quarries the Beleza range. The Brazilian company’s entire fleet of plant and machinery is solar-powered, while innovative machinery is used to recycle the water used in its operations. “We’ve always had a focus on the environment and one of the reasons we work with Micapel is because of their own focus on the environment and carbon footprint,” Ashley revealed.

The Beleza slate range was used on a recent project in Moray

Natural By Choice’s sustainability credentials are reinforced by a desire to ensure nothing goes to waste. The company’s slates can be transformed into internal flooring, hearths, coping, and windowsills.

“It can be the finishing touch on a project,” Ashley explained. “The same product you use for your paving can be transformed into your slate coping in your house, for example. Customers can have it to whatever specification they want, and it also offers a cost saving. It’s a nice service that some people may not realise they can get so close to home.”

With an unwavering commitment to customer service, Natural By Choice’s offering doesn’t stop once the materials have been provided. Sales manager Graeme Buchan detailed the firm’s emphasis on going beyond just being an importer and supplier.

“It’s good speaking to people face-to-face in any walk of life; you get a better feel for the person you’re dealing with and a better understanding of their requirements,” he said. “It’s never just about providing a product; there must be aftercare. If customers require me to do additional site visits, I’m all ears. It’s not a case of ‘here’s the slate, hope you order again’. There’s more to it; it’s personal – you’re dealing with specialists in the field. We know what we’re talking about, and we care above all.”

That personal touch and a culture of reliability, integrity, and professionalism has produced a strong and successful platform from which to build. Natural By Choice is now excited about the next phase of growth as the firm continues its mission to provide companies with the ideal materials at reasonable prices.

Telephone no: 01506 374 493