Governor Lujan Grisham announces $150,000 investment in LEDA with company that has developed technology to turn cremated remains into smooth stones

Parting Stone of Santa Fe has developed a unique technology to turn cremated remains into smooth stones. Courtesy/SNM

STATE News:

SANTA FE — Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that the State of New Mexico is providing LEDA economic assistance to an innovative Santa Fe company that has developed a first-of-its-kind technology to turn cremated remains into smooth stones.

Parting Stone has grown rapidly as cremation rates have increased, with the company maintaining relationships with some 600 funeral homes in the United States and Canada. As families become more dispersed and burial costs increase, more and more people are choosing cremation for their deceased loved ones. Parting Stone is also able to process the remains of deceased animals.

“Parting Stone’s vision and the technology that drives this company are local, developed with the resources and talents of New Mexico,” Governor Lujan Grisham said. “This investment will propel Parting Stone to a new level so it can bring this comforting service to more families across the country and bring opportunity and jobs to New Mexico.”

The State of New Mexico is pledging $150,000 through the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) so Parting Stone can grow from 20 to 109 employees with an average salary of $48,000 in its Santa Fe plant. The City of Santa Fe is serving as the financial agent for the grant and is committing an additional $25,000 in local economic assistance from LEDA, pending City Council review and approval from Santa Fe.

Parting Stone founder Justin Crowe has tapped into numerous startup and innovation initiatives offered by the State of New Mexico and the City of Santa Fe. In April 2022, the state awarded Parting Stone $134 $000 in funding for the employment incentive training program for 15 interns. Crowe has won both the Biz Mix Accelerator and the Balloon Pitch and Ski Lift Pitch competitions. He also participated in TechSprint, a start-up accelerator at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. Crowe developed the Parting Stone hardware technology with help from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program, which connects scientists from national laboratories across the state with small businesses with need technical expertise to market a product.

“This is an innovative company that has invented a service that is transforming the death care industry,” said Department of Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. “Parting Stone’s new jobs and continued growth is good news for family members who have lost a loved one or pet and want to continue to hold them close.”

“Parting Stone has done a brilliant job of recognizing a deep human need and building an important business to meet that need, with sensitivity and artistry,” said Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber. “This business is a Santa Fe success story and a testament to the entrepreneurial talent of our community. We look forward to continuing to celebrate their success and working alongside them to support their continued growth.

Crowe said he started thinking about the cremation process with the loss of his own grandfather in 2014, realizing he and many family members longed for a more permanent lasting connection.

“It’s a profound opportunity to live with the remains of our loved ones, but the look and feel of conventional cremated remains make it an uncomfortable experience,” Crowe said. “We have developed a new form of remains to help families feel a connection to their deceased. When you choose cremation, you no longer have to bring the ashes home.

Tom Antram of Albuquerque-based French Funerals said, “Our team at French has seen the impact Parting Stone has on families in New Mexico. Their alternative to cremated remains has given the families we serve a way to memorialize their loved ones. Remains solidified by Parting Stone are one of the most promising new options emerging in our profession of death care for humans and pets”

“Our team at Berardinelli Family Funeral Services has always strived to find local alternatives and providers,” added Andrew Rawls, managing partner of Berardinelli Funeral in Santa Fe. “With continued growth in the cremation business, we We were thrilled to partner with Parting Stone to provide more options for families choosing cremation.Their solidified remains option has provided a unique creative alternative for many of our families.

Santa Fe Community and Economic Development Manager Rich Brown said Santa Fe’s creative entrepreneurial ecosystem is the perfect place for Parting Stone to grow its business. “Justin Crowe demonstrates that Santa Fe’s creative sector knows no bounds. He trained as a potter and leveraged the entrepreneurial ecosystem to revolutionize an industry while reinventing the way we care for the remains of our loved ones.

Since Governor Lujan Grisham took office, EDD has supported more than 14,000 new jobs and trained 7,085 new Mexicans for better pay. EDD has used LEDA to invest in 56 companies, supporting more than 8,600 new jobs at an average salary of $65,748 and $7.2 billion in new capital investments statewide.

Parting Stone of Santa Fe has developed a unique technology to turn cremated remains into smooth stones. Courtesy/SNM