Perhaps it is not a surprise that Joe Cvenkel founded a wood-based business.
“I grew up in a sawmilling family and while at university, I ran a sawmill of similar size to this one,” says Joe. “I always say that if I cut myself, I will bleed sawdust.”
In addition to his background in forestry and sawmilling, Joe realized early on that Douglas Fir is a beautiful wood, and in 2006, he founded Timberspan Wood Products Inc. The company offers quality Douglas Fir timbers and lumber from Northern British Columbia. Their products are used by commercial and residential builders throughout Canada and the U.S.
"Every new customer's a success"
In describing Timberspan’s growth, Joe points out the importance of patience in winning over customers. “Any step forward is a success. You don’t make it overnight,” notes Joe. “Every new customer is a success; every new timber frame is a success.”
Joe’s slow and steady approach to building his business is also reflected in Timberspan’s growth strategy.
Timberspan is growing in size as well as expanding up the product value chain. Joe realizes that it is important to work from his doorstep out. “It is important to do things well in our local area before reaching out too far. Whenever we can, we give a discount or advice to an emerging business” he says.
Found their niche
In fact, Timberspan Wood Products recently finished a large production run to supply the Government of British Columbia with Douglas Fir bridge timbers for Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) - great news for Joe and his four employees.
As with any business, Timberspan is not immune to market downturns, as well as the challenges of sourcing quality product. However, these challenges don’t bother Joe or his plans for the future of Timberspan.
“We’re a custom sawmill with big ambitions,” says Joe. “We have found our niche and now we are carving it to suit our creativity with the needs of our customers.”
For more information, visit www.timberspan.ca
This small business profile first appeared in Small Business Profile 2011: A profile of small business in British Columbia. Aussi disponible en français.
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