Boston Bar Service Ltd. is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend.
Cathy and Ian Harry started their business in 1989 and over the years have operated in two different locations under three names. They became an official Kal-Tire store in 1998. The scope of the business has changed over the years in response to the mill closure, population decline, two recessions, and the removal of tolls on the Coquihalla Highway. However, despite these challenges Boston Bar Service Ltd. continues to thrive in the Fraser Canyon. In 2013, the Harry’s reached their goal of $1-million in sales.
“We’ve been pretty lucky,” said Cathy, adding that the support of local suppliers, friends, and family has been crucial. “If we didn’t change our business, we wouldn’t be here today. That’s why we’ve gone from doing gas, the repair shop, tires and mechanical, to doing mechanical and heavy truck. In order to stay busy, you’ve kind of got to do a bit of everything.”
Over the years, the Harry’s have built a reputation for quality and affordable service. While Lytton is big a draw for business outside the community, many people continue to travel from the Lower Mainland to get their vehicle serviced at the Boston Bar shop. A big trucking company from 100 Mile House is also a regular customer.
“Every day a new person comes into your life,” said Cathy. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the people you meet and the connections you have through the years of friendships.”
The Harry’s have also been involved in numerous community groups and events over the years, including the annual Boston Bar May Day celebration.
“Because it’s such a small community, you know everybody,” said Cathy. “In order to be part of a small community, you have to be involved. You have to look after the people that kind of look after you.”
To commemorate their 25-year milestone, the Harry’s are hosting a community celebration on Saturday (March 22) at Boston Bar Kal-Tire. The event will feature door prizes, hot dogs, hamburgers, pop, coffee, hot chocolate, and balloons and candy for children. There will also be a special video looking back at the past 25 years and a reunion of former staff.
“Our goal when we first came up in 1989 was to stay for five years,” said Cathy. “I don’t know what happened, it’s gone by so fast. It’s been great and what we’ve enjoyed most is the people we’ve met and being able to have our kids involved.”