Manitoba Chamber of Commerce brought a bunch of businesses and organizations from Winnipeg to Steinbach to tour different businesses in our community last week. 

They were able to showcase Barkman Concrete, Lynn and Liana Designs, and Loewen Windows, Hylife, Bausch Health, Harv's Air, Community General Store and Niverville Community Resource and Recreation Centre.

President of Barkman Concrete, Brian Pries, says it was great to have other organizations come check out their facilities. 

“We call it an honor when we can have people come in here and spend some time with us and then have a look at our facilities. It's always interesting to take people through and show them the process of making our products and what all goes into it.” 

He says it’s great to have people come out from Winnipeg to see some of the work that happens in Steinbach and area. 

“It's a lot of fun to show them what we're doing because most of our sales are going into Winnipeg here in Manitoba.” 

Barkman Concrete currently employs 185 people across Western Canada, but the vast majority of those are here in Steinbach 

Pries says the number one thing that surprises people when touring their facilities is the level of machinery and automation. 

Another stop in the tour was Lynn and Liana Designs. 

Melissa Funk, CEO and Co-Founder of Lynn and Liana Designs, says it was great to have the Manitoba Chamber bring businesses into their production plant. 

“It means everything to us. The more exposure, the more relationships, the more connections, the better we are to set up, to expand, to be able to make more connections. 

She says the reason they have been able to grow their business in so many different ways is through connections and utilizing the resources within the province. 

“Through local government supports, chamber supports, that is how we've been able to expand and grow without having to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in traveling all around the world.” 

Funk says nobody has ever seen a cheeseboard factory before, especially one with resin on it, so people are intrigued when they get to tour the facility. 

“At first, they always ask how we even quit our day jobs to do this, but once they step into our facility, they're blown away by how many boards we are able to do a day, and where we are actually selling.” 

When they got asked to be a part of the tour, they were immediately interested. 

“We said yes, we will always say yes to an opportunity like this, cause you never know where the connections are going to be made and where it will lead to.”

The tour group at Lynn and Liana Designs.

She says making connections with other people in the business community is a key factor in succeeding and growing. 

“When you can get personal buy in from people, they are going to keep you and your business at the top of their mind when they are in meetings with other people. We've even seen it in the past. They've connected us with other people just because they thought about our company while they were in conversations at a different event.” 

Jon Sawatzky, Director of Marketing at Loewen Windows adds that it was an honour to be asked to be a part of this tour. 

“It's really important for us to showcase our abilities, talk about our skills and how we add value, not only to the local economy, but also to all the consumers where we export to.” 

He is very appreciative to the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce for facilitating the tour. 

“I think it's just an honor to be selected, we're just proud to showcase Southeastern Manitoba.” 

Sawatzky shares a bit of what it’s like to tour through Loewen Windows. 

“You get to see a really finely handcrafted product made in an environment where there's lots of activity, there is lots of volume and some significant output.” 

He says connecting with other businesses and organizations is great. 

“Personally, I think it's wonderful for us where we can kind of learn from them. This is an exchange of ideas, so we learn how they do things and how they process and how we do as well.” 


With files from Corny Rempel 


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