The fishing industry is an important part of Nova Scotia’s economy, and is a way of life in many communities around Nova Scotia.
Started in 2013 by Perley Beairsto, Les Falconer, Steve Byckiewicz and Bob MacLeod, Nova Scotia Fisherman was built on the inspiration to create quality products and employment opportunities in rural Canada. The combination of skillsets was perfect to create such a company: Perley and Les (a nephew/uncle duo) had many years of experience in running family enterprise in the restaurant industry in Nova Scotia, and longtime friend Bob and his partner Steve had an extensive background in skincare as the owners of the international skincare company Kiss My Face Cosmetics.
Maintaining quality products and providing meaningful work in Nova Scotia is evident in their ingredients and results in premium body care. Sourcing local innovators and seeking out products close to the earth and shores, Nova Scotia Fisherman is aware of the landscape, the environment and their customer’s health. The sea salt soap is part of the Xtreme Skin Care line that nurtures for your skin whether you are a fisherman, deckhand, or simply a skin enthusiast.
I recently caught up with Les Falconer, and asked him what operating a successful manufacturing company in rural Nova Scotia means to him.
Why is it important for you to be part of a family run company? Honestly, I have worked with my family my entire life, I don't know it any other way. That being said, I can't necessarily say it's better or worse, but I can say that I can't imagine it any other way. Business and personal life have always been blended for me, but it's important for me to be able to provide jobs and opportunities to the people in my community and the people closest to me.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to expand their distribution footprint through retail partnerships? The best piece of advice I can give is to make sure you have inventory. As exciting as it is to get that first big order from a large retailer, it's just as important to be able to fill the small order that comes from the "Ma and Pa shop" down the street the same day. Make sure you are prepared to be swept out of your stock because running a successful distribution and manufacturing plant means filling the orders that come through the door.
What are you most proud of about your business? Firstly, I am proud of the product we are producing. It is a premium, high quality, natural product at an affordable price. I don't think using natural products should mean you have to pay premium prices; I am proud that we have manufactured a product with transparency and confidence in our ingredient choices, while still maintaining an affordable price. Secondly, I am proud to be providing quality jobs in my community and supporting the success of other businesses through the growth of our company. For example, our handmade boat displays are made to send to retailers around the world (we just recently shipped some to Dubai). They are handmade by Plank Industries, a non-for profit that provides jobs for participants from our local rehabilitation center with different cognitive and physical disabilities. They give them a safe work environment and are able to successfully produce these displays for us.
The culture of Nova Scotia Fisherman is very family centric. It is apparent at every interaction that quality and community is the driving force behind this company. To Les and the team, supporting their community through this business by providing jobs is their way of keeping the local economy thriving. It may not always be the most cost effective choice, but is important for Les and Perely to keep the jobs in New Minus- no matter how big they grow to be.