The Brick in Port Alberni has a new owner.
Garth Hamilton took over as franchisee and owner of the furniture store on April 1. He comes to the Valley from Langford, outside of Victoria, where he managed The Brick’s flagship store for the past six years.
Hamilton’s career with The Brick began as an electronics sales consultant in Medicine Hat, Alta., after he finished post-secondary school with a diploma in business administration with a minor in marketing. “I was one of those guys that was going to take a year off of school and go back,” he said. “I got a job with The Brick and I’ve been here ever since.”
His career path took him from Medicine Hat to Victoria, Prince George, Nanaimo, back to Victoria and now to Port Alberni. He has been negotiating for the Port Alberni store since last May, he said. The store was a corporate store, but was always considered a good opportunity for a franchise, Hamilton explained.
It used to be United Furniture, but converted to The Brick when that company bought out United Furniture nearly seven years ago.
Three of the four original employees will be staying with the store, which will undergo some changes in the next month. Hamilton’s brother Greg is also joining him at The Brick in Port Alberni.
“The store is going to be merchandised much better,” he said, adding that he will also be working on the floor directly with customers. “I believe we are going to bring a much better customer service.”
Hamilton is happy to be settling in the Alberni Valley. “For me, it was a better work-life balance to come here,” he said.
Victoria was becoming more congested, and for someone who grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan, too busy.
“I like the idea of a small town I can be involved in,” he said.
“I think it’s beautiful here. I like to golf. I’m going to be spending a bit of time out at Sproat Lake. I’ve got two dogs, so I like to take advantage of all the trails and hiking.
“And I like watching hockey, so I’ll probably be a regular at the Bulldogs games.”