Published On: Thursday, 02 August 2018

40th Anniversary for Iconic Port Hardy Supply Store

40th Anniversary for Iconic Port Hardy Supply Store

PORT HARDY - Macandales is celebrating 40 years of supplying the North Island’s workforce.

Founded in 1978, Macandales specializes in the sales and service of logging, marine, home and garden, and off-road recreation equipment and supplies, as well as a large selection of work wear, safety gear, and casual clothing.

The company was started by Mac Dorward and his son Dale, who created the North Island’s first tool rental business, combining their names in the company moniker.

“I was making lots of money in the logging industry, but was convinced by Dad to start in the tool rental business,” says owner/operator Dale Dorward. “He was making lots of money in the logging industry, and saw a need for a tool rental business in the community.”

They started renting equipment out of their home in Port McNeill, and it was run with the help of Dale’s mother.

Over the next 10 years, the company picked up a few different lines of product for resale, expanding the business to offer more than just tool rentals.

“Now we do more on the sales side of things than the rental side,” says Dale Dorward.

After a move from Port McNeill to Port Hardy, Macandales has grown to be the dominant equipment distributor for the North Island, and serves as far as the Queen Charlottes and Bella Bella.

“We’ve never had any dramatic drops in growth since we started,” says Dorward.

“We recently had a party for our 40 year anniversary, and I brought out our first financial statement, which I’ve kept. In our first 6 months, we did $7,800 worth of business. That would count as a bad day for us now.”

Dale’s parents have been involved as investors and advisors from day one.

“My mom and dad lived in the apartment in the end of our building for their last few years,” he says. “I finally bought my dad’s shares about 5 years ago, so now I’m the sole owner of the company.”

Macandales thrives thanks to Dorward’s attention to the industry and ability to learn from past challenges.

“When the ‘81 recession came, we were hit pretty hard,” he says. “It took us about 10 years to get out of that. It makes you smarter though. I took that knowledge with me, and when the 2008 recession hit, I was prepared. We only had about six to eight months of slowdown, and it didn’t have a lasting impact on our business.”

Dorward focusses on stocking product for the area’s booming industry. When aquaculture started to take off 30 years ago, Macandales was one of the first to supply equipment for the industry.

“We are always innovating, so when certain product lines drop away, we pick up newer product lines,” he says. “We try to keep up with changing technology, and we supply many of the biggest industries in the area, including commercial fishing, fish charters, and logging.”

They are well stocked with work clothing for the construction industry, and are Port Hardy’s authorized sales and service centre for Stihl, Husqvarna, Honda, Yamaha Marine, Oregon Power and BE Pressure Washer products.

They also carry products from brands including Carhartt, Helly Hansen, Viking, Viberg, Lil Workers, Pioneer, Canswe, Big K, Sevaen, Stanfield’s, and Mustang.

One of the central values of Macandales is their belief in giving fair deals and treating their customers with respect.

“We started our business, and a week later, another guy started a competing business in the area,” says Dale Dorward. “A close friends told us, ‘you guys will do fine, You’re good people.’ This competitor had a bit of a reputation for being dishonest, and sure enough, his business closed after a short period of time.”

There are no signs of slowing down for Macandales, as Port Hardy and the North Island are becoming more and more attractive to newcomers.

With a lot of natural beauty, parks, and camping ground, the area is attracting more visitors and residents every year.

“Port Hardy is showing a slow steady growth, especially over the last five to six years,” says Dorward. “The community is poised to become the quick response headquarters for the Coast Guard for the whole North Island and Central Coast, so we have a lot of government money coming in.

“Logging isn’t showing signs of slowing down, and there is a possibility that the mining industry could get going in the next three or four years.”

With their emphasis on customer service, broad range of product offerings, and pulse on the industry, Macandales has a bright future ahead.