Rural British Columbia Business Experiences Growth Spurt

Rural British Columbia Business Experiences Growth Spurt

Bruce Dirom, President - Hardy Buoys

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Hardy Buoys has grown from humble beginnings to being one of Port Hardy's largest employers http://3bl.me/5wgv9v #SmallBusinessWeek

Summary

Founded in 1994 with only three employees, Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Inc. has evolved into one of the largest employers in Port Hardy. Over the last two decades, the seasonal seafood locker for sport fishers with a small smoker and one freezer has grown into a thriving commercial business that provides jobs for 65 full-time employees in a 50,000 square foot facility.

Friday, October 23, 2015 - 4:50pm

CONTENT: Blog

For Bruce and Carol Dirom, smoking salmon began as a hobby, as well as a way to supplement their family’s income. Founded in 1994 with only three employees, Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Inc. has evolved into one of the largest employers in Port Hardy.

Over the last two decades, the seasonal seafood locker for sport fishers with a small smoker and one freezer has grown into a thriving commercial business that provides jobs for 65 full-time employees in a 50,000 square foot facility.

With children of their own, Bruce and Carol recognize the importance of family. Although it’s been a lot of work for them to manage both building a business and raising a family, Carol admits that having the flexibility to manage her own work schedule allowed her to be available to take care of the kids from home.

“Sometimes it felt like we were raising four kids not three,” said Carol. “Our oldest son is involved in the business now, and has spent the last couple of summers completely chained to work. He now understands that when you own a business, you don’t get a day off.”

Carol credits part of their family’s success to the employees who have helped them build their business over the years. “We’re fortunate that we have employees who are as dedicated to the company as Bruce and I are, and I think it’s because we’ve worked really hard alongside them and they respect that,” said Carol. “We have quite a few employees that have been with us for ten to fifteen years, and they are such a huge part of who we are, where we are today, and the direction that we’re going in.”

Starting with a humble beginning, its businesses like Hardy Buoys that contribute immensely to the communities they operate in. As it continues to grow, new opportunities arise, the most recent being a contract with Country Grocer to carry the brand in 7 stores across Vancouver Island. 

“We’re in business to make money,” said Carol. “But there are a lot of decisions that we make where the money is secondary. First and foremost, we want economic development and growth for Port Hardy.”

To promote their new partnership with Country Grocers, Bruce and Carol will be doing in-store demos in all 7 Country Grocer stores from October 30th to November 5th. Their smoked salmon cheese ball recipe uses the Atlantic Salmon Candy Nuggets that will be sampled to customers during the demos.