This is the second in a series of business spotlights where we highlight companies that call Surrey home. As a city committed to sustainability and innovation, we are thrilled to showcase BC Greenhouse Builders.
BC Greenhouse Builders is a family-run business specializing in customized greenhouse design and manufacturing. With over 72 years of experience behind them, they create quality products built to last generations. We recently sat down with Angela Drake, their Director of Marketing, to learn more about the company’s roots, values, and future growth plans.
Celebrating a Long History
Founded in Vancouver by Bert and Mary Wells in the 1950s, BC Greenhouse Builders was purchased in 1972 by an employee Henry Heinen and his wife Greta. The company grew under their leadership and was ultimately passed down to their son, Rick. Now in its third generation, BC Greenhouse Builders is led by Rick, Kyle Exner and Cody Heinen and involves several other members of the third generation, too.
Committed to Customization
Unlike many competitors, BC Greenhouse Builders doesn’t mass produce cookie-cutter greenhouse models. Aside from a small 8x8 structure, every greenhouse is meticulously designed for each customer’s unique needs. As Drake explains, “Every greenhouse we build, we build with our customers in mind, to their exact specifications.”
This commitment to customization is integral to the company’s identity. They avoid creating greenhouses that may be ill-suited to the customer's space, plants, or regional climate. Instead, their consultative approach ensures clients receive bespoke solutions that reflect their vision.
Sustainability goes hand in hand with customization. Constructing short-lived greenhouses that soon end up in landfills is antithetical to BC Greenhouse Builders’ values; building structures to last means avoiding waste and contributing to a healthier environment, resonating with many of Surrey’s own key priorities in our recently adopted Climate Action Strategy.
Moreover, many of their parts are locally sourced to reduce environmental impact, with only a fraction of materials coming from overseas.
“Built to Last”
Creating quality products that stand the test of time is central to the company’s mission. Their lifetime warranty on their structures speaks to this commitment. As Drake explains, “We build our greenhouses to be passed down through generations. It brings us pride to create a product that is built to last.”
Constructed from aluminum and tempered glass, their greenhouses are designed for unmatched strength and durability. Drake notes the challenge of conveying this quality online, especially considering the substantial buying cycle associated with these products.
In an industry where purchases are often made sight unseen, BC Greenhouse Builders places a strong emphasis on brand awareness and clear communication of their product's strength and value.
For instance, the company shot a tongue-in-cheek video where six staff members suspend themselves from a fully constructed 8x12 structure to showcase their build integrity. This lighthearted approach emphasizes the strength of their structures while also bringing their passionate team to the forefront.
Adapting to Evolving Demands
While traditional greenhouse models constitute the bulk of their business, BC Greenhouse Builders has diversified to accommodate changing needs. Drake estimates that 20% of inquiries now concern living space greenhouses. Their modular construction enables limitless customization, creating solutions from compact terrariums to sprawling roof-top oases. As Drake shares, “We excel at realizing a vision. Our design flexibility and craftsmanship allows us to construct the greenhouse of someone’s dreams.”
This adaptability has become crucial as customers seek out purpose-built greenhouses aligned with their space, budget, and local climate. The surge of interest in living space greenhouses enables further innovation at the intersection of indoor-outdoor design.
The Power of Service and Community
For BC Greenhouse Builders, success stems from excellent customer service and strong community ties. As Drake notes, “Over 47% of our business comes from word-of-mouth referrals which is the best compliment we can receive.”
Trust built over 72 years in business has fostered brand loyalty across generations. By prioritizing customer satisfaction, they’ve constructed a reputation as solid as their greenhouses. The emphasis on community also extends company-wide with the introduction of a new charitable foundation called Beyond BC Greenhouse that focuses on giving back to the local community with time and financial contributions. Drake shares that this is a great source of pride with the staff and the sense of community starts with their employees. As Drake explains, “Success always comes back to our people, and we've been very fortunate with our staff. We have so many legacy employees, people who have been with us for more than 10 years, 15 years, even 40 years.”
By investing in people and relationships, BC Greenhouse Builders has nurtured growth and built a vibrant community around their business. You can visit their unique greenhouse showroom in Campbell Heights weekdays and on weekends by appointment.
Embracing Innovation in Campbell Heights
After being based out of Surrey for decades, the company moved to its current Campbell Heights location in 2021. The relocation supported a period of expansion spurred by rising demand during the pandemic. Ready availability of large warehouse spaces in the area provided room to scale up manufacturing capabilities.
Located in South Surrey, Campbell Heights has emerged as a prime destination for forward-thinking businesses. Covering over 1,900 acres, this planned industrial park places a focus on innovation and sustainability. With its proximity to highways and the U.S. border, the area offers excellent transportation links to support trade and logistics.
Modern infrastructure coupled with abundant space caters to diverse industries within the park. Clean technology, manufacturing, distribution, and emerging sectors operate side-by-side, creating opportunities for collaboration. Campbell Heights' commitment to enabling business growth aligns with the values that BC Greenhouse Builders was built on.
This environment of innovation has led the company to take on even more unique and interesting projects. For instance, they recently constructed a greenhouse in the heart of Downtown Surrey for the Century City group’s Holland Park development which will become a community garden when the tower is built.
With over seven decades of experience, BC Greenhouse Builders stands as an established leader renowned for quality manufacturing and stellar service. Balancing tradition and innovation has allowed the company to remain relevant amidst an evolving marketplace. As a Surrey-grown business, we applaud their commitment to community and sustainable practices.
As they embrace the future, BC Greenhouse Builders carry forward time-honoured techniques that provide the foundation for continued innovation. We look forward to witnessing what the next 70 years will bring for this homegrown success story!
Growing Together in Surrey
The City of Surrey is dedicated to facilitating growth and innovation so that businesses can thrive. If you're doing innovative work that deserves to be showcased, we want to hear from you! Get in touch with our Invest Surrey team today.