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Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish celebrates 30 years of Vancouver Island business

Hardy Buoys was founded in Port Hardy in 1994
Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish owner/operator Bruce Dirom grills some hamburgers while celebrating 30 years in business on June 26 at the North Island Mall.

There was a big party going on last month in Port Hardy, as Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish was busy celebrating its 30th year in business.

Owner/operators Carol and Bruce Dirom served up a delicious barbecue lunch for roughly 100-200 people who came to visit at the North Island Mall, and Carol was pleased to say in an interview with the Gazette that they were feeling very proud to have made it this far. 

"We're super grateful to have weathered many storms and challenges and come out on the other end happy to still be here," she said, noting she and Bruce still run the business themselves day to day. "There's a lot of moving parts, there's all these different departments running under one roof and they all have their own unique needs, thankfully we have an awesome team around us and we've created a lot of systems over the years to help us oversee everything."

Hardy Buoys was founded in Port Hardy in 1994, employs 65 people year round for its wholesale and commercial business, expanding to 75 employees in the summer months to help look after its sport fishing clientele. They offer a wide variety of innovative flavours for both farm-raised and wild-caught hot smoked salmon packed in sizes that allow for convenience and affordability.

Carol said at the end of the day it's all about "creating jobs, providing jobs, and putting out a strong product. Thanks to the well-oiled machine that we've built here on a great foundation, I think it says a lot that other seafood companies are coming and asking us to produce their smoked salmon brand for them, because they know our product is good and it's very well received."

She noted while not every package of smoked fish that leaves their facility has the Hardy Buoys logo on it, "it's about keeping things going and keeping jobs available for the North Island."

As for any favourite memories over the years, Carol noted she and Bruce once had a complete collection of all the Hardy Boys mystery novels. One day a young boy came in to their retail store with his family while they were visiting Port Hardy in their RV. He told the Dirom's he was in the process of reading all the Hardy Boys books and was only missing one of them. 

"The one book he was missing was on our shelf," said Carol. "When this young lad noticed we had the book he needed, Bruce pulled it off the shelf and said 'I'll trade you for the one you have in your hand' and now we no longer have a complete set, but there was a very happy young boy who left our store with the book he needed to complete his summer reading, so that's probably my favourite memory."

Tyson Whitney

About the Author: Tyson Whitney

I have been working in the community newspaper business for nearly a decade, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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