Good customer service is in the bag
When PEI Bag Company Sales Manager Jerry MacDonald retired after 43 years, someone at his retirement party said, “when you deal with the sales team here, you think you’re dealing with the owners.”
The way they treat their customers has been key to the 80-year-old Island company’s success, General Manager Thane Smallwood says.
Back in 1935, Island entrepreneurs and company founders Leslie F. Simmons, Lorne H. MacFarlane and Silas H. MacFarlane saw a need for better packaging for the Island’s growing potato industry. Today, their descendents are among the PEI Bag Company’s 41 shareholders.
“It’s all about our relationships with our customers,” Smallwood said. “We provide a very high level of service.”
The Central Bedeque company has 40 staff working in its 60,000 square-foot manufacturing space, making different sizes and shapes of bags out of paper, polyethylene, mesh, jute (a burlap-type material), and woven.
They’ve packaged everything from shrimp to firewood, and from sand to sugar.
They also produce a variety of closing materials and stretch film.
“There is always a market,” Smallwood said. “The ups and downs of the economy impact us less than other businesses.”
About 85 per cent of PEI Bag Company customers are Canadian and the rest are in the United States. The company is looking to grow further throughout the U.S. and into the United Kingdom.
Here at home you’re likely to recognize their bags being used for local products. “We deal with fresh and table growers like Mid-Isle Farms, Linkletter, Vanco and Cavendish Farms,” Smallwood said.
It’s safe to say their success – and their future – seems to be in the bag.