Kevin Kinnear said he has always wanted to own a business. He also said he’s happy with the choice he made when he put his money on the line.
Kinnear took over Parks West Business Products in February. In an interview last week at the Hirst Avenue store in downtown Parksville, he had nothing but good things to say about the former owner, Rick Westaway.
“He built a good business here with good staff and a loyal customer base,” said Kinnear. “You’re going to bring your own style into the business. What I try to do is not get in the way, but build on what we already do well.”
The list of what they do at Parks West is long. The huge, newly-renovated, bright store has everything from thumb tacks to stationery to laptops. There are also some impressively large printing machines that are seemingly only limited by one’s imagination.
“It’s kind of like a Staples but more stylized for the needs of Parksville,” said Kinnear. “We have a good range of equipment to do a lot of different jobs.”
Parks West — which has been open at the same location in Parksville for 35 years — employs 10 people, including manager Kat Vincent, who has been working in the store for more than 20 years.
“That was part of the attraction (to buy the business),” said Kinnear, “the long-time staff and the loyalty they have from the community.”
Kinnear moved to Parksville about eight years ago and has a wife and four children under 10 years of age. Before buying Parks West, Kinnear worked in various financial services roles, including some time as a business banker.
“That experience helped me identify businesses that have been successful,” he said. “It gave me an understanding of what successful businesses look like.”
Parks West Business Products is located at 114 Hirst Ave. E in Parksville. The store is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The phone number is 250-248-6764 and you can find them online at www.parkswest.com.