When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, Vanway Kitchens owners Terry Thiara and Jas Raju experienced the same mixture of emotions any business owner faced with the uncertainty of a pandemic would. They felt fear, uncertainty, and confusion as to how the pandemic would affect their ability to meet not only the needs of their employees and clients, but also of their families.
Thiara and Raju acted quickly to protect the health and safety of their staff and customers to the best of their ability. They found excellent local consultants to help them establish new working safety procedures and received a grant from Northern Development Initiative Trust to help facilitate the changes. These new procedures included reducing their showroom hours and implementing stringent cleaning protocols in their showroom and workstations.
Their initial fears were abated somewhat as, while like other businesses they faced disruptions in scheduling and material procurement, the projects they had scheduled continued to move forward and retail clients continued to support Vanway Kitchens with their orders.
According to Thiara, “It is only with the support of our community and customers that we have been able to keep working and serving the needs of our customers. Prince George has always had a strong ‘Support Local’ attitude but it has been reinforced further in these last few months. We are extremely grateful to be based in the community that we are and to have the support systems afforded to us.”
Vanway Kitchens remains committed to protecting each other and their customers moving forward as best they can and will continue with their stringent cleaning protocols while continuing to provide quality customer service to their clients.
About the author: Christina worked first as a radio journalist and then a public relations specialist in her hometown of Prince George for almost a decade before transitioning into her current role of Workforce Development Officer in the Economic Development Division at the City of Prince George. She has public and private sector experience in economic development, external and internal communications, marketing, social media and website management, event planning, and research. She has a passion for storytelling and for providing support to local businesses to help them grow and thrive.