CJ Bailey opening own masonry business

Charlie Denison


For the last month, a truck has been spotted several times around Lewistown sporting “Benchmark Masonry Inc.” causing some people to wonder, “What is this business? Is it new? Are they local? It’s a local number, but I’ve never heard of them.”

The truck does indeed belong to a local: Central Montana’s own CJ Bailey, who is just beginning his own masonry business after working 15 years for John Valach and Son, Inc.

“I learned everything I know from the Valachs,” Bailey said. “I learned a lot about the trade and a lot about customer service. They are extremely gracious people and they are very gracious with their customers.”

After a decade and a half, Bailey said he felt he “wasn’t learning or growing” anymore and was ready to move forward with his lifelong dream: starting his own business in his hometown.

“This means the world to me,” Bailey said. “This is where I grew up and went to school. I’ve always wanted to have my own business here and it’s something I’ve been working toward. Now is the right time, and I am ready to expand my horizons.”


Long time coming

Bailey said starting his own business is something he’s had in the works for some time.

“I started making plans to start my own business about five years ago,” Bailey said. “I just got to a point where I was ready to take the next step.”

But as close as he is to Benchmark being official, Bailey continues to work with Valach and Son, seeing one last project to completion (which he expects will be Dec. 9).

Although he will miss working with the Valachs, Bailey said he is ready to be his own boss and hit the ground running. He also believes there is “plenty of work to go around” for Valach, Benchmark, Quigley and other masonry businesses to thrive in town.

“We have a lot of old, historic buildings on our Main Street and there is a lot of work that can be done,” Bailey said.

Like Valach and Son, Benchmark Masonry is a full-service masonry contracting company, focusing on stone, tile, commercial block and brick. They also do chimney repair, custom fireplaces, concrete and more.

 “We do the best we can to do what people want done to their home,” Bailey said, “and it is our priority to make sure the project is a success.”

Bailey said he and his two employees are inspired every day by their passion for masonry and they are all excited to get to work.

“Right now we are scheduling work for next year and getting all the financing in place,” Bailey said. “We’ll start working after the first of the year.”

Bailey added that he is excited to serve Central Montana and “looks forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”

“I care about this community and am glad to be able to providing this need,” he said. “Hopefully people will feel comfortable putting that work in my hands.”

For more information, go to www.benchmarkmasonworkinc.com.




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