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By Robert Waldner
Work Photos by Ryan Wendler
Installed product photos by Ed Taylor
Many people think of concrete in terms of utility and outdoor applications, like for bridges, roads, and patios. Just the same, people’s perceptions of luxury kitchens probably lean more towards granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Sirgo Rojas, owner and operator of SVR Concrete Designs, is revolutionizing the connection between concrete and interior design in both residential and commercial applications. His artistic passion and strong work ethic allow Rojas to share his unique craft with homeowners who are looking for a more non-traditional yet aesthetically pleasing approach to kitchen design. “People who like concrete are drawn to the natural look of things,” says Rojas. “Concrete is timeless. Unlike other materials, it never ages.”
Rojas spent many of his adolescent years in Gainesville, where he went to middle and high school. “I used to drive to St. Augustine all the time to surf, and I always found myself wondering why I didn’t live here,” he says. Ultimately, Rojas’ love for the Ancient City was too strong to keep him away. After receiving his Associate in Business Administration from Santa Fe College, he moved to St. Augustine in 1993. From there, Rojas followed different career paths. Much of that time was spent working in the restaurant industry. Then, a bigger move came in 2000. “I moved to Hawaii,” he says. “My lifelong passion for surfing was part of my decision to go.” After a short stint in the Aloha State, he moved back to the Ancient City in 2002. Soon after, Rojas began building his foundation in the industry in which he now excels.
Rojas and his brother, Nate, opened their first concrete business in 2005. “We started doing concrete work in my garage,” he says. “My very first piece was a kitchen table. There was almost nobody doing concrete kitchens back then, so there wasn’t a lot of educational material. Nate and I went through the growing pains of learning the industry and, as a result, we received a lot of hands-on education.” Eventually, the Rojas brothers closed their business. However, the quality and consistency of Rojas’ work on former projects resonated with his clients and, after multiple requests, he went back into business by himself in the summer of 2015. “Rachel and Brian Hanson asked me to do the concrete work for their accent store on San Marco. Eventually that led to more business through their construction business, West To East Builders, that they opened a year later, as well as other builders I had worked with in the past,” says Rojas.
Today, Rojas utilizes the recent technological advances in concrete and his extensive experience in design to expand his client base and provide the highest quality products available. “We make our own molds, and I have a lot of dialogue with our clients to ensure we give them the designs they want.” SVR’s success is a combination of Rojas’ eagerness to learn, his undying commitment to craftsmanship, and the unconditional support of his wife, Kate, with whom he is raising a young son and daughter in St. Augustine Beach. “The kitchen is the heart of the home,” says Rojas. “It makes me feel good to be a part of where people are going to spend so much of their lives.”
For more information and to view SVR’s gallery visit SVR Concrete Designs or call (904) 814-4957.