When opportunity knocked for budding entrepreneurs José Gadoury and Mark Duquette two years ago, they opened the door – and then bought it. After the previous owner of the Timmins-based Northern Windows & Doors mentioned an interest in selling the business in 2010, the two saw a chance to make use of their respective skills to become first-time entrepreneurs. Gadoury and Duquette soon became its new owners; since then, the business has flourished, growing from two employees to eight as it offers sales and installation of windows, doors, window treatments, three season sunrooms and siding around Timmins and points beyond. “We knew we could take this business to another level, and to do that, we’ve added more products and focused on providing phenomenal customer service,” said Gadoury. “As well, it was important for us to have a locally owned and family-run company. We want to do something where we can be successfully as a family and grow it and give back to our community at the same time.” Since purchasing the business, the two have rapidly put their own stamp on Northern Windows & Doors, using Gadoury’s history in business management and marketing alongside Duquette’s skills in construction and solution-based selling to build and grow their client base while tapping into customer needs. It’s an approach that allowed them to double their revenues in their second year, and customer interest has continued to rise to the point where their order book is now packed as much as two months in advance. According to Gadoury, part of that success has come not only from the endlessly positive word of mouth, but also from an expansion of the business’ offerings, which now includes high quality three-season sunrooms, as well as window treatments such as interior blinds and shutters. It’s not something that’s come easy, however, as these entrepreneurs have put a lot of hard work into building their new business, and in learning what it means to be at the helm. This has meant reaching out to many of the savvy business minds in the community for guidance and advice as they sought to learn some of the finer points of running their own company. Conversations held with other owners at networking events and Chamber get-togethers has provided them with insight that has proven invaluable, said Gadoury. Considerable efforts have also been put into developing successful, creative advertising – courtesy of Gadoury’s extensive marketing background – as well as a staff that can provide terrific client-focused service. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without our phenomenal team,” said Gadoury. “They are very customer-oriented, fully bilingual, and they are always available when you need them. They truly are the backbone of Northern Windows & Doors.” Employee diligence has paid off in other ways as well. In 2011, Northern Windows & Doors was awarded the Safety Achievement Award from the Timmins Construction Association in recognition of their focus on accident prevention through a safe working environment. Adding to that staff is becoming increasingly difficult however, as Northern Windows & Doors faces the same problem as many other Timmins businesses in finding more skilled workers. To help address the local shortage, Gadoury and Duquette have partnered with Collège Boréal by providing building material samples, while helping to train future technicians through a partnership with Job Connect. They’ve been equally quick to give back to other areas the community, with Northern Windows & Doors donating more than $20,000 to local efforts such as the John P. Larche Annual Golf Tournament, the O’Gorman High School Annual Auction, Firefighters’ Charity Hockey Tournaments, Diabetes Association, Boston Pizza “Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer” as well as various children’s hockey events. For more information on Northern Windows & Doors, visit them at 870 Algonquin Blvd. E (Schumacher Hwy), online at www.northernwindowsanddoors.ca, or call them at (705) 268-2111. Click here to see the full-sized image.