Mark Tardif has an impressive track record managing furniture businesses.
In the 80s he managed a Sechelt store, building it from 1,200 to 12,000 square feet in five years. In the 90s he managed a little used furniture shop in Courtenay called Old Meets New, and transitioned the store to a thriving new furniture store under the Stokes brand.
Clearly Tardif has an eye for furniture and store management, but that didn’t save him from stress when opening his own store, Anmarcos, in 2013.
“I had done it with other people’s money, but financing the store myself was a little scary! I lost 20 pounds from stress,” he says. “There were problems, but it all fell into place. And we’ve been thriving ever since.”
Tardif used his existing relationships with sales reps, wholesalers and manufacturers to supply Anmarcos with distinctive furniture and home decor, including the retro dining sets from Canada’s Acme Chrome Furniture.
“I love their stuff, and they didn’t have a dealer on the Island. We’ve since become their largest distributer in North America!” Tardif says.
“I wanted them back, so we worked together to bring new technology into the old designs. They last longer and wear better,” he says.
The team at Anmarcos builds trusting relationships with customers as well, helping with warranty issues, delivery, and bringing quality, quirky furniture and home decor to the Comox Valley. Tardif prioritizes local manufacturers, and most products are Canadian-made. It’s no run-of-the-mill furniture store.
“I didn’t see the point of having a shop that was a cookie cutter of the store down the street,” he says, and that applies to the variety inside the store too. “Often I’ll only buy one or two of an item, and then you’ll never see it again. When you buy it you have a sense of pride, knowing you won’t find it anywhere else.”
Anmarcos boasts a small but devoted staff of family and friends ready to serve.
“We’re a genuine family business —my wife Ana and my children Kerry and Michael are all involved in some way, and I’ve worked with many of my other staff since our days at Stokes.”
Visit Anmarcos at 102-364 8th St. in Courtenay to see what’s new! Open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.