You’re only as strong as your people

October 8, 2015

Fusion Stone is created and manufactured by Shouldice Designer Stone, a third generation Canadian owned company that remains 100 per cent family operated. Bev Shouldice founded the company in Shallow Lake, Ontario in 1947, and his son Rob joined him in 1962 at the age of 16. The company is now operated by Rob’s two sons Steve and Brad.

“Our grandfather drove into us ‘your handshake is your word and your word is your bond’. We try to live by this philosophy,” explains Steve Shouldice. “There is not an employee here who couldn’t quote this motto.”

According to Shouldice, the secret to the company’s success is the people they work alongside.  “We grew up under the philosophy that people are everything, surround yourself with the right people and they will share your sense of pride and level of ownership,” Shouldice says. “You’re only as strong as your people. But a lot of people don’t live by this motto. We do. Our people make us a powerful organization.”

The dream of building a family owned and operated company that would allow the Shouldice family to share the local high quality, beautiful stones that are located off the Georgian Bay peninsula was soon realized. Formerly known as Shouldice Cement Products, the company’s innovative and high quality materials are now shipped across North America, and they have expanded to include architectural stones and blocks such as Gem Stone, Estate Stone, Shale Stone, Saratoga and Q-Stone as well as Antique and Newport Stone.

Of special note was the development and subsequent success of Fusion Stone. This product has been a testament to both the spirit of innovation and the willingness to be bold within the Shouldice organization. Fusion Stone is essentially a retail product, an area of the business that was new for Shouldice. The brand has been a success for years, is available on a national basis in all leading building supply retailers, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

The company now employs 150 people and 12 of these employees have been with them for 25 years or more.  “We’ve got two people who have worked for us for over 35 years and one employee who has worked for us for over 40 years,” Shouldice says. “Our business 20 years ago had 20 people in it. We’ve had a lot of growth over the past 20 years. ”

That growth is due to the company’s customer-centric focus. From DIY residential applications like Fusion Stone to landscape products including retaining wall stone and cobble pavers, Shouldice Stone’s innovation and flexibility have allowed the family to keep pace with a competitive, ever-changing market.