Newport’s oldest small business was recently honored in the U.S. Senate as the Small Business of the Week.
Kentucky junior Sen. Rand Paul, a ranking member of the U.S. Committee of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, honors a different Kentucky small business each week. On Nov. 18, he honored Newport’s Rolf Monument Company located at 530 Hodge Street.
“All across America’s main streets one will find small businesses that offer a product or service more valuable than that which is offered by their corporate competitors,” Paul said. “Rolf Monument Company is one of those businesses.”
Started in 1895, Rolf Monument specializes in artisanal design of custom memorials. The business is owned and operated by Tim Rolf, who took over in 1984.
“Tim Rolf takes great pride in providing his customers with products that showcase an unparalleled attention to detail and dignified artistry,” Paul said.
Their craftsmanship is on display at spots across Northern Kentucky such as the 9/11 Memorial at the Newport Peace Bell, Northern Kentucky Firefighters Memorial, Newport City Building and the Veterans Park in Fairfield, OH. The company is currently designing a memorial for the Beverly Hills Supper Club.
Perhaps their most famous installations were two pieces created for the 1988 movie Rain Main starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. Rolf designed the headstones for the late fictional parents of Cruise and Hoffman’s characters. Since the movie was filmed in Northern Kentucky, the production crew utilized small businesses in the region to service the film production’s needs. Today, those headstones are on display at Rolf company building.
Earlier this year, Rolf was inducted into the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame, a group that honors the commonwealth’s military veterans. Rolf, himself a veteran, was not only honored for his military service, but also his company’s work in designing and crafting countless headstones and memorials that honor fallen veterans. Rolf does not charge for extra features when he crafts headstones for veterans, many of which include unique details such as bronze stars and purple hearts not featured on regular headstones.
Rolf Monument is heavily involved in the veteran communities, often working with Vietnam War veterans groups, AMVETS and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“I want to thank Mr. Rolf for his fine work done on behalf of our nation’s veterans, and congratulate him and the entire team at Rolf Monument Company,” Paul said. “I look forward to seeing their continued growth and success in Kentucky.”