Stonemason Miho Ljubic opens Adriatic Stone

Miho Ljubic was no stranger to stone while growing up in Croatia, where the architecture is centered around stonework.

But it wasn’t until he moved to the United States after completing a six-year stint in the Croatian army that he began working in the trade.

“I came to the Bay area to visit friends. It was never my plan to stay,” he said. “But weeks turned into months. I was offered a job from my friend who owned Mirat Marble and Granite, and he taught me how to work with stone. He was faithful to me and I was faithful to him. He was like a brother.”

Fourteen years later Ljubic has found himself striking out on his own after moving to Orcas Island with his wife, Leisha Jones, who grew up here, and their two sons, Dante, three, and Orlando, 10 months. His business, Adriatic Stone, offers small and large projects in marble, granite, and tile.

After graduating from Orcas High School, Jones went to college and became a pediatric nurse in California. She met Ljubic after answering a classified ad for a room for rent. The two were housemates for a year before dating.

The couple had always planned to move back to Orcas, but they kept putting it off as their careers continued to flourish. They even bought a house on the island in 2003, but rented it out. Their tenant recently left, and it seemed like the right time to make the life change.

“The quality of life for our boys is much better here,” Jones said.

They are currently working on remodeling the house, which features stonework by Ljubic in nearly every room: granite counter tops, limestone stairs, and stonework in the bathrooms.

The family lives right down the street from Jones’s mom, Nancy Jones, who owns All Seasons Gardening.

“The family factor is another reason we moved back,” Leisha said. “My grandmother lives in Anacortes, and my mom is next door.”

They have only been living on Orcas full-time for a few weeks, but they are already settling in.

“We want to make our living here,” Ljubic said. “It will take time to get established, but I take things very seriously and I work hard to make my customers happy.”

During his time with Mirat Marble he worked on some of the Bay area’s nicest homes, including the residence of NFL player Jerry Rice.

“None of what I do is prefab,” he said. “It is all custom work.”

Ljubic picks out the stone, designs it, and sands it himself, creating everything from floors and stairs to counter tops and table tops to fireplaces, showers, and rock walls.

“We’re ready to rock and roll wherever the business takes us – even to different islands,” Leisha said.

Ljubic says he likes the artistic yet functional aspect of his trade.

“I like picking out stone from all over the world, and then grinding and polishing it,” he said.

Adriatic Stone can be reached at 376-7633 or 317-4728.