VICTORIA – Whether it’s covering your windows on the inside or your patio on the outside, Peter and Lori Stofko’s companies have an answer for customers.
The Stofkos purchased Ruffel & Brown Window Covering Centre in January, which shares the showroom at 2745 Bridge Street with Pacific Awnings which they acquired in 2020. Pacific Awnings offers a large selection of outdoor patio covering solutions such as awnings, patio covers and pergolas, as well as security products such as rollshutters and gates.
On the window covering side, “we have choices for all windows and all applications and offer a broad spectrum of products from industry leading motorized window treatments to basic manually operated shades,” says Peter, noting Ruffel & Brown is a Hunter Douglas Authorized Service Centre. “We are one of the largest independently owned window covering stores in Canada. We have the largest showroom on Vancouver Island offering many choices in terms of products and fabrics for our customers.”
Peter points out that Ruffel & Brown carries products for every window and situation for residential and commercial customers.
“On the residential side, the top-down, bottom-up shades have been extremely popular in the past few years, however due to the recent Health Canada regulations implemented these products are no longer allowed to be sold in Canada,” he explains. “However, our suppliers have come up with a great replacement product called the duo-lite shade, which basically offers the same functionality of the top down bottom up shades. The only difference is that instead of the exposed cords at the top when the shade is ‘top down’ there is a sheer fabric protecting the cords. The sheer fabric is see-through and lets light in, just like the traditional top down bottom up shades would.”
Commercial clients often choose roller shades.
“These have been extremely popular due to their simple functionality and great price,” Peter says. “Again, due to the recent Health Canada regulation changes, the operating mechanism of these shades has changed from being chain operated to either wand operation or simple motorized operation.
“In some cases we are able to upgrade our customer from manual to motorized operation for a manageable upcharge.”
The company continues to experience strong growth.
“The company had its best year in history last year, and this year we have continued the strong growth and year to date, we are up about 10 percent over last year,” he says, pointing to their staff – some who have been with the company for over 30 years – as a strong reason for their success. “We have the best sales team, many of which are also designers and can help customers with making recommendation on the best products to choose for their homes.”