The smaller Rosetta stones weigh about 400 to 500 pounds, while larger stones can weigh up to 1,500 pounds -- making shipping manufactured Rosetta not cost-efficient, Doty said.
Jeremy Manthei, a product developer for Rosetta Hardscapes, said right now there are two choices for retaining walls. Traditional retaining walls built with large blocks of concrete that function well for retaining but look very industrial. Then there are walls built with natural stones that look softer but often is more expensive than concrete blocks and less efficient at retaining.
"What we're trying to do with Rosetta is give the best of both worlds," Manthei said. "At the same time, everyone wants something that looks nice but gives a good value."
Peerless has manufactured Rosetta for about a month now. They completed their first job in Huntington, installing a wall around a pool. He likens the manufacturing process to making ice cubes.
"You know how ice cubes are in an ice tray? You put concrete in there and these things are flipped upside down and come out like ice cubes in an ice tray."
Peerless makes the ice cube like mold each morning and will increase mold production if needed. Initially, the company invested $140,000 bringing the product in-house.
The molding process allows the manufacturer to create impressions on three sides of the stone instead of just one, front-facing impression. This creates a manufactured stone that looks like it came out of the forest.
Both Doty and Manthei said they think Rosetta will sell.
"West Virginia is a market that appreciates the look of a natural product," Manthei said.
Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.