Beresford’s Ébénisterie Foxwoods Millwork operates from a 12,000 sq ft facility housing some of the best woodworkers and most state-of-the-art technology in the province. The company launched in 1997, focusing on interior work for Pizza Delight and Mike’s restaurant locations.
Bruno Arseneault joined Foxwoods in 2003 as project manager and purchased the company in 2012. During his first years with Foxwoods, he greatly helped the expansion of the company’s client base. While the restaurant industry remains a staple, the company now provides world-class custom millwork to clients in retail, academia, hospitality, and more.
In time for BDC Small Business Week, we spoke to Mr. Arseneault to learn how his team works with Opportunities NB (ONB) and his advice for small businesses.
ONB: Tell us a bit about the relationship between Foxwoods and ONB.
Arseneault: Without the support of ONB we wouldn’t be able to grow at the same pace we have. People think that if you’re making money, you just grow. It’s not that simple, you need relationships to support growth.
The best example of this is ONB’s support with our purchase of a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine, which we have used to greatly increase productivity. We’ve also invested in WEB-CAB technology to further improve efficiency.
All of this technology helped me hire more people because we can now bring in more work, it’s that straightforward. Today, we’re at 22 employees, that’s up from 16 just a couple of years ago.
We’re not done either; I have more projects in line and we’ve already talked to ONB about them. They’ve made it clear helping us grow is very important to them. Next year, for example, I plan to purchase another CNC machine as we now have potential customers as far away as Alberta interested in giving us their business. That’s exciting!
What is your best advice for small business owners looking to succeed in New Brunswick?
Get your behind off your chair and work. I have seen far too many businesses fail because the owners or founders weren’t up to getting their hands dirty. I think some people think you launch a business and then you can just afford to run off and hunt and fish and let the business take care of itself.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. When you launch a company, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be rich. When I purchased this business, I lost some money due to a bad customer. I’ll never get that money back, but the company has recovered nicely because we work so hard.
That type of thing would discourage a lot of people. But I stayed at it, I worked hard — sometimes for seven days a week — until we got out of the hole. I’ve still managed to give raises to my employees because they deserve them, that is important to me. Now, we’re back where we need to be.
So my best advice: be prepared to work hard.
Learn more about the company at www.foxwoods.ca.
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Written by Jason Boies
Images via Ébénisterie Foxwoods Millwork