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Celebrating 20 Years: Our Business Journey

Celebrating 20 Years Anniversary Logo White Background

Humble beginnings

With nine years previous experience in the construction industry as a carpenter, Owen Lawrenson was a successful account manager with a commercial door and architectural hardware company, Select Door. Seeing a trend in new-built construction for washroom specialties and lockers and having a need to provide for his family moving forward, Owen had  the idea to start his own business. He approached the ownership of Select Door to take over a portion of their business that was involved in Division 10 Interior Specialties.

Owen, along with his wife Janice, decided to create Belroc Interiors Inc, and as the original founders of the company, they started it up as a partnership. The initial operation was in the rear parking lot of an extended family member’s business here in Kingston, Ontario. The structure was not that big, a 10 ft by 30 ft office trailer, outfitted with desks and a small area for some storage. Luckily, they also had another storage space off-site for maintaining a small inventory of the initial products.

Later in 2005, the pair were able to obtain  premises at Owen’s previous employers, with a small office containing four desk areas and a small kitchen. This location also included storage for inventory.

Perseverance brings forth a vision

In 2008, Belroc moved to what is now our current location in Kingston, at 95 Binnington Court. This time the space included a large office area plus one bay of storage. In addition, this was the year the business officially incorporated and two of Owen and Janice’s children started to work as employees. And then, in 2011, the building was purchased and became the permanent location with full access to both floors and two garage bays to handle deliveries and manage the stock inventory.

Belroc started with a wide spectrum of coverage in many sectors including education, industrial, healthcare, and office / high-rise retail. Originally the key products sold were washroom partitions, accessories and lockers, floor grills and mailboxes, too. But when 2012 rolled around, an opportunity came to buy a business called CedarCrest Architectural, and it was a game-changer. They were the Ontario Inpro dealer at the time, a company that provides door + wall protection, washrooms, expansion joint systems, privacy, elevator interiors, architectural signage, and commercial window treatments.

This opened-up access to a whole new lineup of products that Belroc really had little to do with before, particularly patient privacy curtains, surface protection and window treatments.

Out of vulnerabilities comes strength

With a new acquisition, came a substantial change to a new name, Belroc Group Inc. And the logo that we have today was established. It became clear that the company needed to put an emphasis into healthcare and redirected efforts to predominantly become focused into that sector. Along with this came exponential customer feedback and the launch of a proprietary modular snap curtain program called InstaSwap.

As Belroc continued to grow, so did the need for business development, the strength of process and an enhanced brand. 3DX, Define, Direct and Deliver, is the methodology in which we do business, and this was developed in 2018, along with clarity around the three values that Belroc holds, Results, Improvement and Synergy. These are the inner workings of the company and how day to day operations are expected to run.

From here the decision was made to split the efforts of the company with two distinct sales teams. One for end user customers, these are direct to consumer purchases for hospitals, clinics, and care homes typically with a specific product. And the other, project management & construction customers, where we partner with a varying degree of contractors for new build and renovation projects that generally require a comprehensive Division 10 package and labour.

Where do we go from here

Covid-19 was a challenge for everyone, Belroc needed to make some quick decisions to help the business survive, and we thank our employees for that. Moving to home offices and reducing hours, kept the business running. Even though our products were in high demand, the halt on construction did have a significant impact. One benefit was the overwhelming surge of our flagship curtain line, Instaswap. It also gave us the opportunity to garner important feedback from our customers on a better-aligned privacy curtain, WipeAble, one that can be cleaned-in-place. A product which is currently revolutionizing healthcare environmental services across Ontario, and rapidly expanding into other provinces.

In 2023 continuing the path of business development, we took a deep dive into market trends and strengths we had for a trajectory of growth aligned with our vision.  Networking with similar sized businesses and like-minded counterparts assists in formulating a winning strategy and build an enduring brand.

Our Mission Statement sums us up well “Belroc provides world-class products for caring spaces, using a blend of experience and innovation to improve environments”.

To find our more about how you can work with Belroc, contact a Team Member today.