PENTICTON - Three former Pentictonites who have made a name for themselves in the business world enjoyed a relaxing luncheon discussing their successes and passing some advice along to members of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.
Jim and Brad Treliving and Rick Kozuback were guest speakers yesterday, July 23, briefly discussing their business success before settling down to a “hot stove lounge” easy chair discussion, facilitated by Kozuback. The trio discussed Penticton, business and hockey before opening up the forum to questions from the audience.
Jim Treliving, founder of Boston Pizza, recounted his early days in Penticton, describing his arrival 46 years ago from Edmonton, trailering a mixer, an oven and couple of other pieces of equipment.
His family stayed in the spare room of his uncle, who worked for the city, for the first few months.
Treliving credits his business success to “the people behind it,” describing how in the early days of his business he took five years to pay off tradespeople.
“They could have closed us down but they didn’t. It was the people here,” he says. He says he began his first business, called Boston Spot at 511 Main Street with a $10,000 investment on the May long weekend in 1968. The small beginnings have since grown to a multi-national business with sales in excess of $1 billion a year.
Treliving described his first attempt to expand Boston Pizza into Ontario, which failed.
“I was mad at everyone for the failure before realizing I should be mad at this guy,” he says, indicating himself.
Treliving says if you’re going to expand, put people on the ground. He says hiring people who understood the market is what turned around the company’s fortunes during its next expansion attempt.
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— This story was updated at 12:25 p.m., July 24, 2015, to correct the date.