Back in 1984, Bob Coupal was keen to bring a new business with old school ideals to Campbell River.
Purchasing a few large rolls of carpeting from a Vancouver supplier, Bob trimmed samples of each and visited his neighbours door-to-door to see who was in the market for new flooring. He then did the installation himself, lugging in new carpet and hauling away the old, quickly building a reputation throughout the community for providing exceptional service and materials at a fair price.
His family joined the business at various times, helping out or answering customer questions when Bob was on a delivery. Soon this small-town business model grew from the basement of their Dogwood Avenue home to three Island stores, but it wasn’t until Bob’s passing a few years ago that the family learned of the true impact he had, says daughter Mary French.
“He had a huge heart. When dad passed I had so many people from throughout the community come to tell me how he’d helped them; it was so amazing to hear those stories we’d never heard before,” Mary says. “He was the hardest-working man I’ve ever met, and he’d buy smart and pass his deals on to his customers.”
It was with that in mind that Bob’s family were thrilled to hear about Andrew McMillan’s vision for Bob’s Floors. Andrew is the second owner of Bob’s Floors since Bob, purchasing the store from the then-owner two years ago. He’s excited to return the philosophy and passion of the store’s namesake to the local business. “We even have the same phone number the store had when it opened,” Andrew says with a laugh.
As the largest stocking flooring dealer on the north Island, customers are confident in the products they’ll find in-store all the time – from carpeting and laminate to hardwood and tile. Add to that the value customers enjoy and the service they’ll receive, and the business is thriving just as Bob envisioned it all those years ago.
A business philosophy for today – and years to come
It was a tough decision for Bob to pass the torch, but once retired, he and wife Mavis enjoyed wintering in Arizona and indulging a new-found passion for golf before his passing in 2015. “He took so much pride in his work; he had a tough time walking away for retirement,” Mary recalls.
“It’s really exciting for my family to see the store going back to the way he wanted it, including bringing back the name, and seeing Andrew working to be a part of the community as well as a good business. It just makes me smile – I laugh to see how much Andrew is like my dad and it means so much to my family that he’s honouring my dad’s name,” Mary reflects. “My dad would be smiling right now.”