The CBC’s Big Decision crew records part of the show at Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Inc.

Nothing fishy about decision to save biz

One of Port Hardy's largest employers hopes appearing on a TV show will jump start their business

The owners of one of Port Hardy’s largest employers, say they hope starring in a television show will not only jump-start their foundering business, but maybe reenergize the rest of the North Island.

“Maybe other businesses are feeling the pinch,” said Carol Dirom who, along with hubby Bruce, owns Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Inc., a business to be featured on the CBC’s new show, The Big Decision.

“We thought if we could get on a reality TV show that’s going to air nationwide, if anything we and the whole North Island are going to get exposure — you can’t buy that kind of advertising,” she said.

The Big Decision operates on a simple premise: two stars —  Arlene Dickinson and Jim Treliving — from the hit show, The Dragon’s Den, search out struggling or stalling established Canadian businesses and offer advice.

They later decide whether or not to invest in the business, based on certain criteria being met.

And the opportunity to be on the show didn’t come a minute too soon for Hardy Buoys.

“The perception to the outside person looking in is Hardy Buoys is a very successful, small town business,” Carol said of the business that currently employs 35 full-timers.

“We’ve exhausted every option; we can’t borrow any more money, we can’t pull any more favours, there’s nothing personally that we can contribute to the business ― we’ve truly done everything we can,” she said.

“If the show wasn’t happening — you’d be looking at Hardy Buoys closing its doors, even maybe before this summer.”

As any owner knows, running your own business can be a roller coaster life; with skill, hard work and maybe some luck, there will be highs.

But a company can only survive by getting through the inevitable lows, stormy conditions Hardy Buoys has weathered many times in its nearly two decades of business.

“The big difference we notice since being in business for 19 years is that this low has gone on for longer than we have ever experienced in the past, and we have run out of ways to tighten our belts and ride this wave,” said Carol, who noted hers is just one of many companies across Canada facing tough times.

Meanwhile, Bruce has been on the road promoting Hardy Buoys’ products.

“We have been working extremely hard on a number of new retail chain accounts throughout Canada over the last year,” he said.

“The excitement for our product at the food service and retail level — there’s lots of interest.”

Dirom added working on new accounts was an eye-opener.

“I had no idea of the time it takes to list new products. From initial tasting and product introduction to having product selling at the store level is painfully slow with most retailers, at least from my point of view,” he said.

“Unfortunately we are in a financial pinch that could slow or prevent some of these future sales.”

Carol said it’s great they get the added boost from the sport fishing in the summertime, but it’s just not enough any more.

“What we’ve noticed in the last couple years is we have longer layoffs and every time we have one, we lay off more people and when we start calling (workers) back, we don’t call back as many as we

would have before.”

“However, there are always more options as long as a person is willing to take them — sucking up our pride and being on this reality TV show is just one more way we can show our business and our employees that we aren’t giving up, we will do whatever it takes to keep the doors open.”

Dickinson recently visited Hardy Buoys and Dirom said there’s better than a flicker of hope the business will not only survive, but thrive in the years ahead.

“To be honest I don’t know if I ever felt so nervous at the thought of meeting someone, but I have to say the way she came in the room and the warmth in her eyes and in her smile, I thought I’d known her my entire life,” she said.

Dickinson has since left the North Island, but she’ll be back to make sure Carol has made good on the challenge left her.

“My challenge from Arlene is to organize a community event that draws attention to the North Island,” said Carol, who added she can’t divulge too much more.

She did say the event will take place in late February and promises to be a blast.

“It’ going to be like when the Olympic torch came to town, it will all be free,” she said.

Bruce said there will be a Plan B if Dickinson chooses not to invest.

Episodes showcasing Hardy Buoys are scheduled to begin airing in April.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Cafe Guido manager spills the beans on new coffee shop drive-thru

“The core drink menu is the same, but there will be new drinks - new cold drinks and new food”

Arrest made in Port Alice mail bomb incident

A 73 year old resident of Whitehorse, Yukon, was arrested on September 13th and remains in custody.

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Three mayoral races in the North Island

Elections BC has finalized their nomination list for municipal, local elections for… Continue reading

Port Hardy resident furious over smart meter installation

“They came into my house without consent and it wasn’t even a BC Hydro employee.”

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Dozens speak at Vancouver hearing that could see duplexes replace single homes

The city clerk says 73 people signed up to speak at the hearing that began early Tuesday evening and adjourned hours later with 34 speakers still waiting.

North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

North and South Korea say they plan bid for 2032 Olympics

Moon and Kim announced a sweeping set of agreements including a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Russia’s reinstatement after doping scandal goes to a vote

The World Anti-Doping Agency is due to vote Thursday Sept. 20, 2018, on possible reinstatement of Russia.

Ontario wins stay on ruling that struck down council-cutting plan

The province had argued the stay was necessary to eliminate uncertainty surrounding the Oct. 22 vote, and the Court of Appeal agreed.

B.C. cannabis producer Tilray hits at $20-billion high as stock price explodes

This is the first export of a cannabis product from a Canadian company to the U.S.

NDP tax increases adding up for B.C. residents: study

Carole James says Fraser Institute analysis ignores tax relief

‘Sesame Street’ wants to clarify: Bert and Ernie aren’t gay

The characters are best friends and have many human traits but “remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation”

Most Read