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Vancouver Island awards celebrate businesses with ethics, honesty

Character, culture, customer service and community engagement recognized in annual event
Mark Nagra (far right) and other members of the M&N Mattress and Sofa Gallery at last year’s BBB Torch Awards, where they won in the Customer Service category. This year they’re a finalist in the Community Service category.

Some awards go to the business that made the most money, or expanded its reach with the most new franchises. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Torch Awards have a different focus:

  • Character — value-driven leadership & communication
  • Culture — commitment to trustworthy business practices
  • Customer service — strive for excellence, transparency & honesty
  • Community engagement — contributions to the greater community

Mark Nagra uses those four ideas as the foundation for his own business, M&N Mattress and Sofa Gallery — not to put more awards on his mantlepiece, but because he’s genuinely passionate about running an ethical business. It’s the first thing he teaches new staff during training, and the most important lesson he’s shared with his daughter Natasha, who works alongside him and his wife Neelam at the Parksville store.

“When entrepreneurs or sales people ask me for advice, I always say: We have one mouth and two ears, because we’re supposed to listen more than we talk. Customer service is about listening to the customer, and being prepared with the knowledge from your research so you can answer any questions that come up. That gives the customer confidence in your product and business,” Mark says.

The store is as committed to the community as they are to their customers.

“We’re a family business, and we wouldn’t be here without our customers, our fantastic staff, and the community’s support over the last 22 years. We don’t take that support for granted, and give back as much as we can. The way I see it, if you have the resources to help, why wouldn’t you?”

Much of the store’s generosity is kept private — the point of these actions is to help, not to get a pat on the back. But someone has clearly taken notice. Nominations for BBB Torch Awards come from customers, and M&N Mattress and Sofa Gallery was just declared a finalist for the seventh time in the last eight years.

“We’re extremely grateful to our community for their continued support, and feel honoured to be recognized by the BBB judges. It’s not about the awards, but it’s a sign that our integrity is making an impact,” Mark says.

M&N Mattress and Sofa Gallery’s Torch Award winning streak

  • 2015 — 1st Place, BBB Torch Award for Community Engagement
  • 2017 — 1st Place, BBB Torch Award for Customer Service
  • 2018 — 1st Place, BBB Torch Award for Sales/Service
  • 2019 — 1st Place, BBB Torch Award for Retail Business of the Year; 1st Place, Parksville Chamber of Commerce Award for Service Excellence
  • 2020 — 1st Place, Alignable Local Business Person of the Year
  • 2021 — 1st Place, BBB Torch Award for Customer Service
  • 2022 — Finalist, BBB Torch Award for Community Service (winners announced November, 2022)

M&N Mattress and Sofa Gallery has strong relationships with many BC-made and Canadian-made brands including Decor-Rest, Stylus, Purba, Ironman Pure Energy Mattress, Springair and Palliser. Visit the expert staff at M&N Mattress and Sofa at 291 East Island Highway, or get inspired at, or