Armando Graniel was born in the quaint fishing village of San Pedro, to Marina and Rosendo Graniel. Armando grew up among six brothers and five sisters. He left elementary school when he turned eleven, due to the fact he had to help with the income of his family. From the age of nine, Armando assisted his dad working in the cocales (coconut plantations). He, like many of the other boys developed a liking for the sea. When Armando wasn't clearing land at the "cocales", he would be at sea fishing. When the lobster season would arrive, Armando would join in this fishing affair and when the season was over, it was time to go skin diving for conch. With the new fishing co-operative to be constructed, Armando took on even one more job. He joined many of the other town's men in constructing the fishing cooperative for a daily salary of $3. This was about the same time when Armando married Emerita Nuñez. From this marriage, the Graniel's had six children, Dianita, Celida, Marisa & Melissa (twins), Armando Jr. and Florangely.
With the birth of tourism, Armando also supplemented his fishing and diving with a bit of construction work on the side. In 1987 with the tourism industry at its peak, Armando got the opportunity that would change his future. Mr. Richard Headrick of Ramon's Village contacted him to reconstruct the office, restaurant and bar of the hotel. Armando's work was impressive, and led to Headrick's offering Armando to build additional cabañas at Ramon's Village. For his excellent work, Armando was given a bonus of two bags, each filled with one thousand dollars in small bills and was also given a scooter. After this fine project, the rest would all be history. Armando received numerous requests for his work. With business booming, Armando came up with the idea of opening a cabinet shop. "This way we would be able to do our own moldings, doors, windows, etc., in a timely manner and with very high quality, which is what we wanted to provide clients," Armando stated. Graniel's Cabinet Shop and business office was officially opened in 1994.
Today, Graniel's Cabinet Shop employs a little over 100 workers. In addition, Armando also opened a showroom called "Graniel's Dreamland" located in San Pablo, San Pedro Town to display the wide variety of his work. Graniel's Cabinet Shop has also displayed some of their work at previous Sea and Air Festivals. Armando has not limited his work to wood only; cement, thatch and palmetto are other materials that Graniel's have worked with. Armando has also gone further and in addition to buildings has constructed many piers and seawalls. Many of Graniel's excellent work can be seen around San Pedro Town, such as; Ramon's Village, Caribbean Villas, Caribe Island Resort, Belizean Reef, Mata Chica, Jerry Jeff Walker's house and his most noted project at Cayo Espanto (a privately owned island) to name a few.
Graniel's Cabinet Shop has been very successful due to the quality of work produced and fine family administration. Armando Graniel and his family have a bright outlook for the future. Plans to purchase a dryer to produce quality woods for exportation is at the top of their list. Armando's creations have been exported to parts of Mexico and the U.S.A.
"I would like to thank all those who have trusted and given me the opportunity to work on what would be their homes or business," stated Armando. "I like this job and I like to work with wood. We have a wide variety to work with like Cabbage Bark, Rosewood, Poison wood, Habin and others apart from Mahogany. We have to make use of the other exotic woods that our country has," ended Armando.
Graniel's Construction and Cabinet Shop has helped in beautifying San Pedro Town and has truly stood up to their slogan of "You Dream it...We Build it".
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