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J.D. Irving, Limited highlights stories for Small Business Week

J.D. Irving, Limited takes pride in supporting small business in our region. Here are some examples of small businesses that are playing a key role in our company’s daily operations.

Transportation and Logistics

Tony Mustafa joined the Sunbury team as a company driver in 2020, after taking a five-year hiatus from driving. With nearly a decade under his belt at that point, Tony decided to take on his next challenge of being an Owner/Operator, now with four trucks, two of which he purchased through the Universal Truck and Trailer (UTT) lease-to-own program.

When asked what's one thing he wished more people knew about his line of work he said the safety aspect: "It takes me a lot longer to stop than the other cars on the road and the extra space I need on the road is for everyone's safety."

Tony values learning, owning his own business has allowed him to grow and overcome hurdles which make him feel accomplished and successful. 

Irving Woodlands

Irving Woodlands supports new business owners with a contractor program.

Meet Jonni Virolainen, the owner and CEO of Ponsa Forestry Inc. Originally from Kangasala, Finland, he has been living in New Brunswick for four years.

“My dad’s uncle worked in forestry, and as a young man, it was nice for me to have a chance to work in forestry in a different country. JDI helped me come here and start my company through their contractor program,” says Jonni.

Jonni began his journey as a harvesting contractor with Irving Woodlands this year after having been a harvesting operator for the company. As an operator, he worked with a brand-new contractor and watched his company grow for three years, which helped his decision to start his own business. His company employs two people currently, with hopes to expand as he learns and grows. Jonni is a passionate employer who enjoys meeting his employees daily to talk about what he and they can improve upon and showcasing his hard work when JDI colleagues visit his blocks.

Irving Shipbuilding

SEVAEN Workwear is one of Canada’s leading designers and manufacturers of workwear solutions. They have recently announced an exciting new collaboration with Chandler Sales to provide high quality made-in-Nova Scotia workwear apparel to Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As part of phase 1 of this new initiative, SEVAEN Workwear has started providing custom-designed coveralls for the Halifax Shipyard trade workforce, to be rolled out starting in September 2023. 

“This initiative is another example of how Irving Shipbuilding and the National Shipbuilding Strategy are contributing to the local economy here in Halifax. We’re pleased to provide our people with high quality, locally made workwear, to keep them safe and comfortable as they proudly deliver ships for Canada,” added Jim Rennie, VP Human Resources, Irving Shipbuilding.

Cavendish Farms

For two decades, Malpeque Fine Iron Products has been a dedicated supplier of exterior Christmas decorations to Cavendish Farms, cementing its presence in the Summerside, Prince Edward’s Island community. Established in 1998, this family-owned business led by co-owners Dianne Schurman and her husband Eric, specializes in crafting home décor and folk art that not only enhance homes but also celebrate the rich cultural heritage of PEI. 

“We enjoy being active within our community and giving back when we can,” shares Dianne. The commitment of Malpeque Fine Iron Products extends beyond their craft, as they actively participate in various local community projects. Their passion for community involvement has not gone unnoticed. In 2022, Malpeque Fine Iron Products was recognized with a prestigious award, which you can find more about in this Heart of PEI Committee Recognition.

Pulp and Paper

In a remarkable display of community collaboration, Irving Pulp and Paper Mills have taken a unique approach to enhance on-site mobility, with tricycles. Since opening its doors in February 2019, Hayward’s Bike Shop has played a pivotal role in supplying these tricycles, not only transforming the way employees move within the mills but also nurturing a stronger bond with the local community. The journey towards this mobility solution began when Irving Pulp and Paper Mills found ways to improve efficiency within their facilities. Hayward’s Bike Shop, a locally renowned establishment for quality bikes and maintenance, has taken advantage of the opportunity.