Friday, February 26, 2016

Clarenville Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business Awards

On Thursday, Feb 25, the Clarenville Chamber of Commerce celebrated the achievement of small businesses in our region, and recognized the contributions of key community builders with its 9th annual Business Excellence Awards. See full coverage in THE PACKET

Here are video segments of this year's recipients:

VIDEO SEGMENT 1: Small Business: Community Vet Hospital 

VIDEO SEGMENT 2:  Medium Business: Eastlink

VIDEO SEGMENT 3: The Corwin Mills QC Community Cares: Clarenville Habitat for Humanity 

VIDEO SEGMENT 4: The 2015 Inductee to the Business Hall of Fame: Mr. Owen Blundon


Owen is the oldest son of Chesley & Effie Blundon from Shoal Hr. At a young age he showed signs of wanting to own his own business selling animal feed while still in school. He went to Horwood High in Clarenville where he met his wife Marlene Lethbridge. After high school Owen went on to Trade School to take a Carpentry course.

Owen & Marlene married in 1976 and had their first child in 1977.

After building his own home Owen decided carpentry wasn’t for him. In 1977 Owen bought a business from his uncle, Wallace Hutchings. It was a small grocery store on Marine Drive. In the store they started selling flowers. This became popular with the customers so they moved on to a flower shop Pine Grove Florist in Shoal Hr. It got so busy they bought land in Clarenville and built a bigger store. This was the first flower shop in Clarenville. 

In 1979 Owen went to work with Rex Clarke using the backhoe. Rex told him he was selling so Owen said he wanted to buy it. At 23 years old, in 1980 Owen started M&M Sand & Gravel. While his wife worked in the store, he worked on the equipment, working from daylight to dark. With a small child, Melissa, it was a challenge.

With Marlene in the shop and Owen working construction, he then also decided to start trucking fish for Conpak Seafoods to the Clarenville Plant. He went from owning one truck to six in a short period of time while also trying to keep the construction going. With all of this and another child, Stephanie, it became too much so the decision was made to sell the flower shop in 1983 and for Marlene to work at home keeping the trucks moving. When the seal plant opened in Clarenville, Owen approached them about trucking for them. Later when the plant changed to shrimp he became very busy and increased his trucks to 10. Owen was hauling 25 to 30 million pounds of product annually.

Owen also purchased land in Shoal Hr. This later became Taverner Place. He then developed it and sold lots over the years.

Owen always wanted to open a truck parts shop, so in 2000 he opened OMB Parts & Industrial Ltd. It was a 1250 sq ft space on Manitoba Drive. The store very quickly outgrew that and moved to 2500 sq ft. In 2004 he bought land on Blackmore Avenue from Town of Clarenville. Then started to build a 6000 sq ft building to move his parts shop into. Before the building was finished, Owen added more space for Adventure Recreation & Marine selling recreation vehicles. OMB kept growing so he built on another 4000 sq ft to do repairs on his own tractor trailers as he still had trucks on the road. Later he started doing repairs on passenger vehicles so he added more space for a repair garage.

In 2006 Owen became an OK Tire Dealer. He wanted to sell tires from the start of OMB. They approached him to warehouse tires for them and distribute tires to dealers on the island. Not one to hide from work he took it on and up goes another building to use. In 2008 Owen started an OK Tire Store in Mount Pearl.

With the ongoing growth of OMB, Owen decided to give up trucking and put all his effort into OMB. 

In 2015 Owen further developed the land he purchased in Shoal Hr. to lots on Glenview Ext.

Over the years Marlene has stood by him and now both his daughters, Melissa and Stephanie, work in the business with Owen. It’s a family run business that the family is all part of, Melissa’s husband Shawn and Owen’s sister Sherrie also work there. 

With everything Owen has done and accomplished he is still not showing any signs of slowing down.

Here are video segments from the awards:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great news! It’s nice to see how small business grows and the achievements of small business owners. I think that small business sector is one of the most important things for today’s economy. It helps the US to grow and small business owners create many jobs that help many other people to prosper. There was a time when I used no fax instant payday loans to make ends meet but when I found a job in a small business sector, things have changed into the better for me.