Keeping business in the family

Keeping business in the family

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Contributors:

Mina Atia
Communications Coordinator

Starting at a kitchen table in Shubenacadie, N.S., McBurney Pools & Spas has grown into a fully-fledged business.

Although it’s a lot more than just a family-owned business, it still has family values in its DNA.

“We are a family-run business and our employees are treated like family,” says Tara McBurney, general manager of McBurney Pools & Spas.

Bill McBurney co-owns the business with his wife Carilyn and has been working in the company since the very beginning – August 1980. He has recently stepped back to enjoy retirement.

The day to day operations are now run by his daughters: Tara and Holly, as well as their dedicated team.

This year was McBurney Pools & Spas’ 40-year anniversary. Sadly, COVID-19 put a wrench in any chance of celebrating the milestone, especially with their doors being closed.

“We were very fortunate to be in the leisure industry; it seemed like everyone wanted a pool or hot tub,” says Tara about how business was faring during the pandemic.

She added that supply became an issue as the season progressed, since hot tub demand has pushed manufacturing until 2021.

“It was very challenging in May when our doors were closed, but we were operating with curb side pick-up,” she says.

McBurney Pools & Spas moved into Burnside Industrial Area in 1996 and eventually ran out of operating space.

Building the flagship store on Frazee Avenue in 2005 was the next monumental step for the business. A satellite store remains in Shubenacadie to service the corridor area and Truro.

“We also welcome all clients to be part of the McBurney Pools & Spas family.”

The business participates in charity and community events, sponsoring several golf tournaments for groups such as MADD, Sunshine Kids and the RCMP.

The business has also raised money for NS Food Bank by using “Stuff-a-Tub” promotions and filling hot tubs placed in locations around the HRM area with food donations.

McBurney also provided a hot tub to the 2011 FIVB World Junior Beach Volleyball Championship in downtown Halifax.

“We pride ourselves on educating our clients about our products: pools, hot tubs, water care or whatever it may be,” says Tara.

“We are also open year-round!”

As we head into colder weather, Tara advises pool owners to get their pool and property ready for winter. “It’s very important,” she said.

"For pools, it’s important to have the water balanced before adding a closing kit, which is a service available at both of our locations and online.”

Tara points out that hot tubs must have their lines blown and antifreeze added in them during the cold weather. She also recommends a protective cover to be used.

McBurney Pools & Spas offers a closing service for above-ground and in-ground pools as well as hot tubs for winter.

The business carries about 80 per cent of products manufactured in Canada, like Beachcomber Hot Tubs, Freestyle Spas, Sani Marc pool care, Hayward and Lumi-o.

“Getting a pool or a hot tub is a big investment,” says Tara. “And we are there to help you along the way.” ■

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