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Profiles of Excellence: West-Can Home Hardware

The Burnaby business is a one-stop-shop for household needs
L to R: Max Langlais, Arden Sparvier, Sonia Jhaj and Brad Hall.

For the team at West-Can Home Hardware, excellence extends far beyond offering top-notch customer service or extensive selection of products.

It also includes a dedication to the community, a focus on supporting staff, and being the best in every way possible.

“We are passionate about what we do every day and we’re focused on continuous learning and innovation,” says Sonia Jhaj, who manages the family owned and operated business. “Excellence for us flows into all facets of the business and involves ongoing innovation and growth.”

That means prioritizing the customer by striving for quality, consistency and constant improvement, she adds, while also maintaining a focus on supporting a healthy employee culture where communication, creativity and innovation are encouraged.

The Burnaby business is a one-stop-shop for household needs, from cleaning supplies, paint, kitchen appliances and utilities, gardening and seasonal products, power tools, toys, and automotive. “And we focus on having that personal touch, a friendly environment, for our customers, that’s more one-on-one. We get to know many of our loyal customers, and see them again and again,” says Jhaj.

The company has had steady growth over the years, as happy customers continue to recommend the Edmonds Street operation to friends and family. This success is due in large part to the incredible staff at West-Can, says Jhaj.

“We are lucky to have a strong team of people who all have a passion and experience with customers and are driven to make a difference in everyday people’s lives,” she says. “Happy employees equal happy customers.”

That focus on supporting staff includes ongoing training, group-building activities and staff incentives to help strengthen team relationships, and ultimately, build powerful customer relations.

“Most people don’t realize that it requires ongoing knowledge consumption for the growing number of products and services,” she says. “So, in essence, we’re always in school!”

This year, West-Can—like so many businesses around the world—faced unique challenges with COVID-19, but Jhaj says they’ve been able to quickly adapt and adjust their services to continue to safely welcome customers.

“We love what we do and we love seeing our customers,” she says. “We really have a personal touch here, and being able to use our expertise or knowledge to help a customer is so rewarding.”

West-Can focuses on giving back to the community by participating in many community events, volunteering with local organizations, and contributing to charities with causes that align with the company’s core values.

“Burnaby is a wonderful community and very supportive to local businesses. We’re grateful to be in this city.”

West-Can’s well-deserved reputation continues to draw new customers all the time, most on the advice of neighbours or friends.

“Referrals are very exciting because word of mouth recommendations are the most organic and powerful form of advertising and it tells us that we’re doing something right.”

Jhaj says her motto in business is to do your best, every day—judging by their success so far, her team has certainly been doing their best, and beyond, at West-Can. 

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