BACI’s woodworking business changes name to attract customers
Tuesday March 13, 2012 — Camille Jensen
The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion’s (BACI’s) woodworking business has changed its name to BC WoodWorks from The Grape Box to better reflect its growing product line and reach new customers.
Ruth Hoffman, who works with BACI as a social enterprise consultant, says the social enterprise continues to produce high-quality wine boxes that have made the venture successful, but it has also branched out to create corporate gift baskets, garden planters and outdoor furniture.
“We tried to come up with a name that would be broad enough to cover all our product lines and also would be easily found through Google searching, with wood in the name,” says Ruth, adding a key goal of the new name is to attract more customers.
BC WoodWorks employs eight people who have an intellectual disability who receive training and support in creating wood products from two master carpenters. Some of its latest products include Adirondack chairs and picnic tables — including those specially designed for wheelchair accessibility — as well as benches and garden planters.
The furniture is made from reclaimed western red cedar and pine-beetle stained wood, turning what some would deem “waste” into valuable and aesthetically-pleasing products.
“For people who are interested in social or environmental mandates, we can’t be beat. It’s a win-win-win for everybody all around,” says Ruth.
Master carpenter Pratap Singh has overseen BC WoodWorks since its inception, and says he enjoys working with the long-standing team, a job that’s kept him at BACI 18 years.
“The most powerful thing I would say is seeing workers working hard, having fun, helping each other and making money,” he says.
According to Pratap, his ideal vision for the business as it grows is to create an integrated workplace, where skilled carpenters work alongside individuals who have a disability.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about BC WoodWorks is encouraged to visit the workshop or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. New products suggestions or potential customer reccomendations are also encouraged.
To learn more about BC WoodWorks, click here.
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