In April of 1963, the Azorin brothers, Rogelio, Manolo, and Antonio, began their
quest for the "American Dream". Three years before, they had been
forced to leave all their property and belongings behind as Fidel Castro
nationalized all businesses and seized all private property in Cuba.
When they left Cuba in 1960, they had hopes that Castro would not stay in power
very long. They would be able to return and reclaim their business and property,
which included a state-of-the-art clay sewer pipe plant, and brick plant. After
a couple of years working in a brick and pipe plant in Georgia, it became clear
to them that their stay in the United States might be more than temporary. That
led to a decision to start anew and Florida Brick & Clay Company, Inc. was
born in Plant City, Florida.
The company began making full-size facing bricks and clay drain tiles. Raw
materials had to be brought in by rail from Georgia and Alabama. Due to the high
cost of shipping shale and clays, the brothers developed a 1/2 inch veneer
facing brick which could be used to simulate brick, but required much less clay
to produce. A traditional shuttle kiln was used to fire the products.
In 1970, they made a major decision to modernize the grinding and batching
plant and a new more efficient tunnel kiln was built. As it turned out this
decision to modernize was a turning point in the business as costs were lowered
with the increase in production capacity. Florida Brick & Clay began carving
a niche in the marketplace with its introduction of a 1/2 inch thick, wire-cut
brick paver sold under the brandname Sunshine Pavers®. A major boost in sales,
as well as credibility, was gained when McDonald's® Restaurants began using the
pavers on their patios and walkways. The brick pavers are durable and
skid-resistant, even when wet, which make them ideal for exterior applications,
such as pool decks, patios, walkways and driveways.
The Sunshine Pavers product line has grown to eleven colors, including earth
tones, cream, gray, brick red, two wood-grains, flashed colors and the newest
addition, antique Colonial Blend. With its quality and product innovation,
Florida Brick & Clay has long been considered the leader in the "
wire-cut brick paver market.