Grey Bruce Electric proudly serving the community

Geoff Dale for Postmedia

OWEN SOUND – For nearly two decades Greg Hargest has been a proud owner of the much-respected Grey Bruce Electric, a top-notch locally owned and operated company with roots in the city since 1954.

“I was born and raised in Owen Sound, so I look at this company with a great deal of personal pride,” he said. “Before this I was involved in the propane business for years, working for a local branch of Superior Propane.

“My sister’s father-in-law, Frank Coulter, was a Grey Bruce Electric shareholder. One day at a family barbecue Frank approached me asking if I’d be interested in buying the business. I thought about it, took some time to look into the matter, did my homework and then made the decision to purchase the business.”

The company was founded in 1954 by Alfred Harrison as a mobile operation using a large truck to deliver material to customers. In 1962 it became a bricks and mortar enterprise at 1475 Second Avenue East which is the current location.

The founder purchased a 3,965 square foot building, opening his own electric wholesale supply business to serve the Grey and Bruce Counties. Three years later his son Rex took over the enterprise, nurturing it into a thriving local firm.

The Harrisons proved to be highly successful in achieving their goal of creating a prosperous independent electrical distributor. Thanks to efforts by the new ownership and with strong support of local businesses, Grey Bruce Electric always meets and exceeds customers electrical supply needs.

“We’re still in the same accessible location but now have more than 7,000 square feet of inventory space,” Greg explains. “The major difference with this company is that it is based here in our community and run by local people, supplying top-flight products and service.

“There are four on staff including myself. My brother Steve is such a key part of our company doing just about everything. We open at 7:30 in the morning but he’s there every day at 5 a.m. ensuring everything is received, taking care of all manner of business including night orders and making sure we are ready for the day.

“Lisa Wardell is simply invaluable and looks after accounts receivable and payable.  In March, I hired Robin Lisk, who has 32 years of experience, an incredible knowledge of the business, product and services.  We are delighted he is onboard.”

“Everyone assumes a wide range of duties and tasks like handling sales and quotes. You can say we all do a little of everything.”

While much of the focus is on Grey and Bruce Counties, the company has reached out to customers beyond the immediate region. Staff has tackled projects in the rapidly growing Collingwood, Mount Forest, Kincardine, Tobermory and beyond.

“I am extremely proud that we are well known for our incredible stock levels and customer service.”  “We carry a wide and varied line of products from the best names in the industry and are always pleased to give customers whatever information they need on these lines.

“Customer service is always in stock. It isn’t a given. It’s a must.” That’s our motto and we provide high quality name brand products exactly when they’re needed. We can be reached at 519-376-4120 or email us at greg@greybruceelectric.com.  As for our website, we are hard at work ensuring all company material is current on our soon-to-be updated and easy-to-navigate website. When the website is complete, we will inform everyone of the online address.”

With business ties to top quality names like Schneider Electric, Liteline, Juno Lighting, Rab Design, Broan, Ideal Industries and LeGrand Canada, customers are certain they’re getting the best when dealing with Grey Bruce Electric.

A listing of product types is available in these categories: automation devices, boxes & enclosures, conduit & connectors, distribution, heating & ventilating, instruments & testing equipment, light sources, lighting controls, lighting fixtures, lighting/misc., motor & motor control, network wiring, protective devices, raceway & duct, signaling devices, transformers, utility, wire & cable and wiring devices/tools & accessories.

“Grey Bruce Electric is a community-minded company with a growing sales and customer base,” said Greg. “We belong to the Grey-Bruce Homebuilders Association, Electro Federation Canada, Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.

“For over 60 years now, service has always been in stock!”

“In addition, we are part of Affiliated Distributors (AD) of Canada, the largest group of independently owned distributors, giving us a great network of suppliers and many benefits from marketing programs. AD’s mission is helping members, supplier partners and associates grow and prosper.”

“Through AD we offer a rewards program. Suppliers contribute and when our customers buy products from participating suppliers, they’re rewarded through a point system. More information will be available on our updated website or you can contact any one of us for further explanation.”

The scope of Grey Bruce Electric’s business is wide-ranging and continues to grow, dealing with companies and individuals, selling to electrical contractors, factories and supplying products to firms like Hobart Food Equipment.

“Reaching out and offering such a varied range of products to business interests within and outside our local boundaries, is fascinating and always interesting,” he said. “For example, transportation and communication interests comprise a large part of our operation.

“For me the day always begins bright and early. I sign on to my home computer and that’s when my work day begins. The business day is long but it is, without fail, rewarding, filled with new and sometimes challenging business ventures.”

In terms of the numerous projects the company has handled over the years, Greg says they are always satisfied when a job has been well done and customers are pleased with the results and the manner in which the work was carried out.

“I recall one in particular,” he added. “We provided all the material for the lighting at the Harmony Centre right here in Owen Sound. That was a rewarding experience.  The Harmony Centre is a wonderful place which provides a lot of entertainment, recreational events and happenings for everyone inside and outside of the immediate community.”

“Grey Bruce Electric serves many people and businesses. All my family and my staff live here and are proud partners of this community. We enjoy the support we’ve received over the years and look forward to the future.”