EAST GARAFRAXA – Next year Orangeville Building Supply will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
It’s a significant achievement for the business, which specializes in building supplies and landscaping products.
Owned by Bert Niezen of Fergus, Orangeville Building Supply (OBS) is located on Dufferin Road 109 in East Garafraxa, just west of Orangeville.
“I’ve always been in the industry,” said Niezen, who explained he ran the business – at the time named Canadian Building Supplies – for a few months in 1990 while the previous owner was ill.
In 1991 he took over as owner and changed the name to Orangeville Building Supply (his son and partner, Chris Niezen, runs Guelph Building Supply at 500 Maltby Rd. E. in Guelph).
In 1996, Niezen moved the business from C-Line in Orangeville to its current 10-acre property just outside of town.
“We started slow and only bought what we knew we could sell,” Niezen said of the business’ early days.
“And we had a lot of loyal customers.”
As its name suggests, OBS offers a wide range of building materials. It is well known for its landscape products, but at this time of year, sells a lot of lumber and drywall.
The company also sells renovation materials, tools and power tools. Basically, OBS has everything you need for your construction or home improvement project.
The business caters to a range of clientele – estimated by Niezen to be about 80% contractors and 20% retail – hailing from a wide geographical region, including Toronto, Brampton, Fergus, Arthur, Grand Valley, Shelburne, Dundalk and beyond.
Asked why customers choose OBS over other businesses, Niezen says it comes down to one word: service.
“It still means a lot,” he stressed.
OBS’ unique brand of customer service stems from its four main guiding principles:
– total satisfaction (“we listen to our customers, consider their needs, and strive to form long-term relationships. We also set ourselves apart by anticipating the needs of our customers, from their perspective”);
– mutual trust and respect (“we treat everyone with respect and will earn trust and respect from others through our performance”);
– teamwork (“we work together with our customers, vendors, and associates to achieve common goals and mutually beneficial results”); and
– passion (“we have the drive and internal motivation to better serve our customers and to provide an enjoyable and productive environment for conducting business. We believe we get out of our work what we put into it”).
Niezen said the business is renowned for offering friendly, knowledgable advice, for obtaining products when customers need them, and for keeping prices competitive.
“We want to make sure our customers can do what they are hoping for,” states the company website. “If it’s something we’re not sure will work, we will throw out other suggestions for things they can do or try.”
OBS currently has ten full-time staff members, including an estimator that can help customers navigate the logistics and financial details of almost any project.
The OBS staffing complement balloons to 14 in the summer, which, as anyone familiar with the industry knows, can be extremely busy.
It’s also the season in which OBS specializes in the products that separate it from other companies and on which it built its reputation: landscape products like paving stone, natural stone and myriad other outdoor products.
“In that way, we’re different than a lot of the lumber places because we’re heavy into landscaping” said Niezen.
The company can help customers with projects including home entrances (stone, bricks, wood or a combination), walkways, patios, ornamental ponds, retaining walls (wood or stone) and much, much more.
“Big job or small job, we are here for you,” states the website.
The company also offers pressure treated wood, spruce lumber, some cedar, and other items required for the construction of fences, decks and other outdoor wood projects.
OBS belongs to the Timber Mart buying group, which helps with buying power and ensures the business is well stocked for customers, Niezen explained.
But just because something isn’t in stock, doesn’t mean OBS can’t help.
“We’re always eager to try new items,” said Niezen, noting the business has seven trucks and makes frequent “city runs” to bring in special-order items.
“We have a lot of loyal customers and we certainly try to do what we can for them.”
Orangeville Building Supply is open Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 5pm (7am to 6pm in the summer), and on Saturdays from 8am to 3pm.