In December 2019, the ThriveNorth program successfully completed its five-year mandate. Managed by Futurpreneur Canada, the program helped young entrepreneurs in Northern B.C. launch and grow their businesses by connecting them with resources, financing and mentorship.

Born and raised in Terrace, British Columbia, Bobby Middleton always loved the outdoors. When he’s not at home with his family, he loves to be out on his boat fishing, hunting or looking for wood. After over ten years working in the local saw milling industry, Bobby knew it was time for him to go out on his own and start his own business. He loved the industry he was in because he was passionate about the forest and the resource, and from that, The Saw Shack was born.

The Saw Shack is a saw milling company that focuses on minimum waste and maximum recovery by processing trees into lumber, but also further processes off-cuts into value added wood products. Bobby recently competed in our ThriveNorth Business Challenge where he won a cash price of $10,000 in the Best New Business category.

We had the chance to ask Bobby a few questions about his business and what we can expect to see from The Saw Shack.

What can we expect to see from The Saw Shack in the next year or coming months?

In the coming months, The Saw Shack will be getting established at its site setting up equipment, completing first orders and seeking future customers. The Saw Shack will have a site with a lumber mill outdoors and a wood working shop. I expect to be cutting wood by the beginning of July. There are customers and orders in place and a lot of other business in the works. I predict a very busy first year.

The Saw Shack is a sustainable business, why was it important to you to create a business that was eco-friendly?

It is important to me to create an eco-friendly business because I have first hand seen a lot of waste over the years. Some is legitimate waste that cannot be used, but I always knew some of it could be resawn or re-purposed somehow. I believe it’s time to break the traditional ways of processing wood and be innovative.

How will the money you won through the business challenge help you and The Saw Shack?

The money that I have won will greatly help The Saw Shack. It will provide my work computer, Vertical Bandsaw and Resaw, and a chainsaw. These are the key pieces of equipment to process the wood I am after. Having these purchased and paid for will help the business immensely in its first year getting established.

Is there anything else we should know about your or your business?

The site that The Saw Shack will be on is actually off of the BC Hydro power grid, so we will need to provide our own power. The Saw Shack is looking to run a wood boiler, burning legitimate wood garbage, to power generators with steam, to produce electricity. Making The Saw Shack completely self sufficient and with virtually no waste. I am very excited about this!

Stay tuned to see where Bobby takes his new business!

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