By Amanda Fraser, AllNovaScotia.com
Big Erics Inc. has long been known as a go-to place for commercial equipment and tools, but Norm Mensour wants to broaden his business’s appeal.
The large restaurant and janitorial supply conglomerate is launching Big Erics At Home, a 10,000 square foot showroom in Burnside that used to house restaurant-grade wares.
Now it’s stocking high-end brands in everything from cutting boards and mixology tools, to Japanese-made Shun knives, Staub cast iron cookware and Jura espresso machines that start at $1200.
It’s all for the home chef striving to craft the perfect meal or drink.
Mensour, who became CEO of the St. John’s-headquartered company in 2016, says the At Home products target foodies looking for gadgets a couple of notches above what’s available at retail outlets.
The plan is to expand Big Erics At Home into St. John’s and Moncton, where Big Erics already has distribution centers. A retail-focused website is also in the works.
He said the idea, which has been percolating for about two years, arose from customers walking into the company’s warehouse asking if they could buy products for their homes.
“Some of the equipment was only rated for commercial usage,” he said.
“We’ve got people who understand cooking and commercial kitchens. We have people who are used to serving commercial chefs who can answer your questions,” he said.
The knives, which also include the brand Henckels, have already been a big hit, he added.
The showroom will host cooking classes in the New Year and red seal chefs on staff at Big Erics. The company is extending its hours, opening on Saturdays for the first time, and will stay open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
Big Erics moved into its Burnside home in December 2014. It occupies 30,000 sq. feet on John Savage Drive, which includes 20,000 sq. feet of warehouse and 28-foot ceilings.
Big Erics employs more than 100 people in Atlantic Canada. It is solely owned by Wayne and Joan Myles and earns more than $40 million annually in revenue.
Big Erics Inc. announced today the acquisition of the Stellarton, NS-based company, MACKMariplex. The merger of two highly aligned companies allows Big Erics to continue to strengthen their offering as trusted partners both in end-to-end product and service-based solutions to commercial kitchen customers and discerning home chefs alike.