CNS Mechanical held its grand opening in Wadena on March 27, with lots of customers and well-wishers stopping by to chat, have a cup of coffee and some food, and even make purchases. Owners Curtis and Sommer MacLeod and Ian and Dana Lazar were happy to greet people, help them find things and even dispense a little advice along with the coffee.
While coffee and snacks were available all day, the big ceremony was held early in the afternoon when Wadena mayor Greg Linnen came by to cut the ribbon on the new business. The News interviewed the business owners.
Why did you choose to stay in Wadena?
Curtis MacLeod: Once out of university, Sommer originally took a job in Wadena to be closer to family while I was still working in the oil field.
It was supposed to be a temporary move; however, when I thought about what I wanted for my life and family in the future, being away from home all the time and not being an active part of my kids’ lives just wasn’t for me.
I decided to take the plunge and the temporary pay cut to start apprentice-plumbing, with the goal of opening my own plumbing and heating business.
Wadena wasn’t necessarily “home” for Sommer and me, but it was the middle point between Quill Lake and Archerwill, where each of us grew up. It is close to our families and it has all the amenities we think are important to raising a family. We both agreed that we didn’t want to raise our family in the city.
Ian Lazar: Opportunity in rural Saskatchewan is endless. We have a stable economy that doesn’t experience the dramatic upward and downward trends of the bigger centres. The reason we decided to stay here was also because of the great quality of life a family can have in a small community. Wadena is a close-knit community that gives me and my wife the feeling of home.
What advantages do you find for small business ownership, especially as younger people starting out? Disadvantages?
Dana Lazar: Being a young group of entrepreneurs, we have the support from the people of Wadena as well as surrounding communities, which has not gone unnoticed. We are grateful to work in such a great community with the people that we grew up around.
Do you have any plans for expansion?
Sommer MacLeod: We are always looking for opportunities to grow our business and expand our team; however, we recognize the importance of being strategic about this. We do have a few ideas that we are considering for the future, but timing, the economy and capital will dictate how and when we act upon them.
Ian and Dana: There is always room for expansion, but it has to be done accordingly. We want to provide not only jobs in town, but long-term careers.
Why did you choose to open your own business rather than working for others?
Curtis: I knew I would never be fulfilled if I was working for someone else. Many of Sommer’s and my close friends are young entrepreneurs in various communities across the province and they are very successful.
I also really like the fact that I have the ability to control and manage my work day so I can incorporate the other things I find important into my life, like family and my hobbies.
As well, the only thing holding me back from success is myself; I get to see the benefits firsthand for all the hard work and long hours that I put in.
Ian and Dana: Being self-employed gives us the opportunity to provide more services necessary in the community, with the ability to control the quality of professional service we deliver. We take great pride in our business and are building, ourselves, every day for the future.
By Charlene Wirtz