owner of Mission Bottle Washing Company in Summerland, at an entrance to the portion of a former

packinghouse he leases for wine storage.

His business is more than a wash

Responding to customer needs has been a key part of successful diversification.

By Susan McIver M

aged Said’s business has gone a long way beyond providing clean beer and

cider bottles.

He has diversified the Mission Bottle Washing Company to include wine services, freight delivery and warehousing since buying the Summerland-based company 11 years ago.

The company’s success stems from Said’s breadth of experience, entrepreneurial spirit and recognition of the needs of his customers and the importance of his employees. Said worked in health and safety for mining companies in Canada, the U.S. and Australia before moving with his family from Fort McMurray to Summerland 15 years ago. “I grew up in Salmon Arm and always wanted to return to the Okanagan,” he said.

Initially, Said purchased Radio Shack which evolved into the computer electronics business, Bad

14 British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2018

Robot, before buying out one partner of the Mission Bottle Washing Company and a few years later the second partner.

“The two partners started the business in 1987 on Robinson Road in Summerland to wash cooler bottles for Mission Hill Winery, hence the name,” Said explained. Most of the bottles now being washed are standard beer bottles and Growers Cider bottles.

The beer industry uses standard- sized bottles which lends to their being refilled, Said explained. When he bought MBWC, bottle washing was 98 per cent of the business.

As the only independent washing facility in Western North America,

MBWC had a corner on the market which meant there was little room to grow without diversifying. Today, the new activities of wine service, freight delivery and warehousing account for 10, 10 and 40 per cent, respectively, while washing is responsible for the remaining 40 per cent. Diversification started with customers asking Said to take on new tasks.

“Working closely with customers is part of our DNA. We figure out ways to do whatever they want—to do it creatively—change a process, adapt existing equipment or buy new equipment,” Said explained. Wine services include such tasks as putting together gift packs, organizing

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