Keeping boats afloat
Their stock may be getting low as boating weather comes to a close for the year, but Mermaid Marine(link is external) will be ready to supply North American boaters for the 2017 season.
Staff at the successful wholesale marine distributor in Charlottetown are busy packing orders to ship to 1,000 boat dealers across the continent. The company supplies everything from engine parts to lifejackets for commercial and pleasure boats.
Having technicians on staff to answer dealers’ questions also sets Mermaid Marine apart.
“Customer service is our number 1 priority,” said General Manager Ron Savidant. “That’s how we have done so well.”
Owner Patrick Villeneuve oversees the staff of 25 at their 21,000-square-foot location in the Charlottetown Industrial Park. The company was founded by Villeneuve’s father Pierre in 1973 in Montreal, and is a perfect example of an Island enterprise that started out small and became big.
The elder Villeneuve often traveled across the Island en route to deliver diesel engines to his clients in the Magdalene Islands. He saw the need for marine products in Prince Edward Island, so in 1983 he packed up and moved to the Island to set up shop.
The company began with just five employees in 1983, and has grown. Now, Mermaid Marine is in the market for even more staff. They’ll need the additional help, since the company offers more than 18,000 items that can be ordered from its 700-page annual catalogue.
And business – just like the wind that any mariner will find this time of year in the Northumberland Strait – is brisk.
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