close
close

Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Celebrates Vancouver Island Company’s 30th Anniversary

Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Celebrates Vancouver Island Company’s 30th Anniversary
Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Celebrates Vancouver Island Company’s 30th Anniversary

Last month there was a big party in Port Hardy as Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish was busy celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Owners/operators Carol and Bruce Dirom served a delicious BBQ lunch to approximately 100-200 people who visited the North Island Mall. Carol was pleased to say in an interview with the Government Gazette that they were proud of having come this far.

“We’re super grateful that we’ve been through a lot of storms and challenges and come out the other side happy that we’re still here,” she said, noting that she and Bruce still run the business themselves. “There’s a lot of moving parts, there’s all these different departments that work under one roof and they all have their own unique needs, luckily we have a great team around us and we’ve created a lot of systems over the years to help us navigate it all.”

Founded in 1994 in Port Hardy, Hardy Buoys employs 65 people year-round in wholesale and commercial sales. During the summer months, the company expands to 75 employees to serve their recreational fishing customers. They offer a wide variety of innovative flavors for both farm-raised and wild-caught hot-smoked salmon, packaged in sizes that offer convenience and affordability.

Carol said at the end of the day it’s all about “creating jobs, providing jobs and bringing a strong product to market. Because of the well-oiled machine that we’ve built here on a great foundation, I think it says a lot that other fish companies are asking us to produce their smoked salmon brand for them because they know our product is good and it’s been very well received.”

She noted that not every pack of smoked fish leaving their factory carries the Hardy Buoys logo, but “it’s about keeping things moving and keeping jobs available for the North Island.”

As for favorite memories over the years, Carol noted that she and Bruce once had a complete collection of all the Hardy Boys mystery novels. One day, a young boy and his family came into their store while they were visiting Port Hardy in their RV. He told the Diroms that he was in the middle of reading all the Hardy Boys books and that he was only missing one.

“The one book he was missing was on our shelf,” Carol said. “When this young man saw that we had the book he needed, Bruce grabbed it off the shelf and said ‘I’ll trade you the book you’re holding’ and now we don’t have a complete set, but we had a very happy young man leave our store with the book he needed to finish his summer reading, so that’s probably my favorite memory.”