How we got from There to Here!
January 4, 1990 Landscape Centre Inc. was incorporated in the province of British Columbia. Originally residing at 5625 Regent Street, Burnaby we occupied half an acre & 800 sq.ft of office/showroom. Times were lean and budgets non-existent. Operations began with 2 full-time and 1 part-time staff member. Landscape Centre's roots were tied to 6x6 Treated Lumber & Railway Ties - this began our journey.
Becoming an Abbotsford Concrete dealer gave us the ability to offer pavers in all 3 shapes and 3 colours (if you count Natural) that was available at the time. We offered treated lumber for decking, fencing, fence panels, and a new Precast Retaining Wall System called Vari-Stone (presently known as Pisa II).
In 1991 we added another new Precast Retaining Wall System called Allan Block and that addition later became a 'fork in the road' moment for Landscape Centre.
1992 brought on the addition of 6 bulk bins and 2 more employees. We carried Top Soil, Barkmulch, Red Lava, Crush, Sand, & Pea Gravel. Unfortunately we did not have a loader, nor could we afford a loader, so we loaded customers the old fashion way, by hand. Lots of hard work for little financial reward, but that is all part of growing. One day, one of our masonry customers saw us shovelling bulk material into a pick up and couldn't believe what we were doing and later returned to donate his old sand bucket to attach to our forklift (this bucket is still in our possession and is still used when need be). Once we had a way to load bulk materials more efficiently, we were able to convert our flatdeck truck into a dumping deck to service our customers better.
Over the winter of 1992 Landscape Centre saw an opportunity to pick up operations and move to 2540 Barnet Hwy, Coquitlam to service the up and coming residential market of Coquitlam's Westwood Plateau for the year 1993. With the change of location, came a change in our company logo and company colours, as well as a change in our product offerings. In our move, we forgot to pack our Railway Ties & Treated Lumber. Landscape Centre was able to look into the future and saw that precast concrete was it (remember the fork in the road moment). With the addition of 4 more bulk bins, the purchase of an old loader, and a new single axle dump truck, we were ready to supply material.
In 1994 Landscape Centre moved from its 320 sq.ft trailer to the 100 year old farmhouse next door and gutted it from top to bottom. We had our small store & information desk downstairs, contractor sales & general office upstairs. We also hired an outside sales representative to help grow our business. Again, ahead of the curve, we purchased a used Hitch Hiker (forklift) to have the ability to deliver pallets of precast products to our customers. This was also our 1st season of carrying the Techniseal line of cleaners & sealers for concrete products.
1995 saw the purchase of our first tandem axle crane truck and our first new forklift (we were living the dream). We were now dealers for Keystone Retaining Wall Systems & Westcon Products (Pavers & Walls), offering our customers even more options of precast products.
1996 came the introduction of our first new loader (no more jump starting) and 3 more bulk bins. We were also able to occupy another small piece of property next door to store more product. This was the year of introducing Sunday shopping to our customers, we were now officially open 7 days a week.
While we continued to grow throughout 1997, we kept adding to our product offerings such as Natural Flagstone, pond products, cedar shed kits, grass seed, and more.
1998 saw Landscape Centre bursting at the seams and another move was in the works. In November 1998 we ceased operations at 2540 Barnet Hwy & moved to 1.6 acres including a 17,500sq.ft showroom/office/warehouse facility located at 3090 Westwood Street, Port Coquitlam. We thought we had hit the jackpot of landscape supply companies having all this extra space, both inside & out. Now up to 14 bulk bins (plus Featherock) and a paved yard (no more pot holes).
Landscape Centre spent the years of 1999 through 2001 just trying to get a handle on what kind of monster we had created. More & more products were being introduced, more & more space was required, a full blown pond department and new staff to assist customers.
In the year 2002 we added a new Crane/Dump truck which changed the way Landscape Centre was able to deliver products.
Another addition was added in 2004 of a new tandem/tandem crane truck, increasing our delivery capabilities by 55% over our tandem axle crane truck. This was also the first year that Landscape Centre became a dealer for Cultured Stone.
In 2007 Landscape Centre was able to secure an offsite 1 acre parcel to continue to grow. We also became a dealer for Vermont Castings BBQ's & outdoor fireplaces. Landscape Centre again saw a glimpse of the future and it was outdoor living. It is a market that continues to grow.
2008 expanded to the 0.5 acre next door and continued to grow.
2009 came the addition of another tandem/tandem crane truck, offering even more ability to service customers needs.
2010 was the year that separated the men from the boys. Busting at the seams again, Landscape Centre secured 2 locations for expansion. We separated our company into 2 and opened up the first ever landscape supply offsite sales centre located at 5 - 75 Blue Mountain Street, Coquitlam, and our Distribution yard located at 2350 United Blvd, Coquitlam, both opening at the end of 2010 for the 2011 season. Now with 16 bulk bins, 2.25 acres, 6500sq.ft warehouse, & a 4000 sq.ft sales centre, Landscape Centre is looking forward to servicing our customers needs even better.
2011 to present has seen a massive influx of concrete manufacturers from as far east as Manitoba, global companies purchasing local companies and just an eye opening experience of what new products, textures, colours, styles, profiles are available and going to become available.
2013 Landscape Centre became a Barkman Concrete dealer. These new offerings from halfway across the country have really given our customers something different & unique for their projects. This year was the beginning of "kit" products for customers to be able to purchase a project on a pallet(s) like a fireplace, pizza oven and other outdoor living products. We also took a chance on a new line of artificial grass, Bella Turf. Truly amazed at the demand for less maintenance has seen massive desire for artificial turf.
2014 saw the addition of becoming a select Belgard dealer, again offering different & unique pavers & kit products from throughout North America.
Over the past 25 years, I would have to say that I am extremely of proud of Landscape Centre's involvement with our suppliers to assist in introducing new products & new colours to the market. As well as overall support for bettering our industry!
January 4,2015 marked our 25 year Anniversary, has time ever flown by. We took this year to do some reflecting on the things we have done right and the things we needed to improve upon.
2015 marked the year of introducing 2cm Porcelain Tile to our line up. This product is used both indoors & out, is lightweight, resists stains, and does not effloresce. We also added an additional outside salesperson and a sales manager to our team to help our customers be better served. In bringing 2015 to a close, we became a dealer of Pangaea Natural Stone Veneer & Accessories.
2016 Another big year in the way we were able to service our customers by adding a semi truck/trailer outfitted a new offroad forklift allowing us to "go the distance" for our customers. We have had the luxury of adding a few new natural stone suppliers to our offerings as well as Allan Block's new Aztec line.
2017 Already in 2017 we have had new offerings from Barkman Concrete with their Lexington & Brookside slabs, Architextures (Risi retaining walls), large format pavers (36"x36"x4") & their new Cast planter lines for commercial projects. We are hearing that landscape lighting is going to be offered this season, but don't tell anybody our secret just yet.
2018 saw the launch of our residential lighting department. We introduced a new natural stone veneer Terra Craft. Barkman brought to market their new Keystone Compac III Hewn Stone in 3 colours. We relaunched our Job Referral Program and it is now all handled through our website for access 24/7 to both customers and contractors. Fort’s new PX120F contractor wheelbarrow more than lived up to its name and once again our Bulk Big Bag program sales continued to grow.
2019 we have already seen the launch of Mutual Materials Vancouver Slate Slabs, available in 3 colours in 16x16 & 24x24 sizing. We will be offering Basalite’s new Traditional Slabs in 12x12, 18x18, & 24x24 in Natural & Charcoal. And rounding out the lineup is Barkman’s new Arborwood Slab (machine manufactured wood textured slab) in 2 colours and their new Bridgewood Retaining Wall system in the same 2 colours to compliment their existing Bridgewood Slabs.
2020 Holy F%$k, what a year. I don't think any of us even want to discuss or relive this year!
2021 WTF? We are still on this crazy ride. The supply of all products was low, demand was high, and patiences of customers were at an all time low. In saying all that, a few new offerings made it to market such as the AB Metropolitan and Belgard Origins/Dimensions. All in all, our staff stood strong through the past 2 years of trying times/pressures.
. . . to be continued.