The Silliker family, best in glass for 58 years
Posted on September 01, 2023 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments
Now a leading glass manufacturer in Atlantic Canada, the Silliker family business has been operating for over 50 years. What started as a small construction company on Prince Edward Island has evolved into Silliker Glass, a supplier of glass products for residential and commercial customers through Canada’s East Coast.
The beginning of Silliker Glass dates back to 1965 when G. E. (Ed) Silliker founded a namesake construction company in Summerside, P.E.I. Initially called G. E. Silliker Construction Ltd., the business did some general contracting and slowly grew a niche in working with glass.
When Ed retired in 1981, his sons Ron and Stacy took over. The brothers renamed the business to G. E. Silliker & Sons Limited and decided to focus primarily on glass installation. Together, they grew operations to cover most of P.E.I. and the business eventually adopted the name Silliker Glass.
In 2009, the Silliker family began experimenting with the production of tempered glass, which inspired a major shift in focus for the business. Instead of doing installations, Silliker Glass took advantage of a gap in the market and became a supplier of glass products for commercial and residential clients. According to Matt Silliker, the current owner of the business, the hardest part of this change was turning old competitors into customers.
Around the same time, Silliker Glass purchased a new 30,000-square-foot facility in P.E.I. that overlooks the Confederation Bridge and moved operations from Summerside to Borden-Carleton.
When Ron retired in 2014, Stacy continued to grow the business with his son Matt. In 2018, they purchased a second facility in Borden-Carleton. A year later, Thermo Pane (a competing glass manufacturer) went into receivership and the Silliker family purchased its facilities in Beresford, N.B. Matt explained that Thermo Pane primarily focused on serving the residential market, so the acquisition allowed Silliker Glass to expand its client base in that area of the business.
In 2021, Silliker Glass made expansions to one of its facilities in P.E.I. to add new equipment and Stacy retired, leaving Matt as the sole owner and operator of the family business.
Still in the family
Today, Silliker Glass continues to produce a variety of glass products for commercial and residential customers throughout P.E.I., N.S., N.B. and N.L. As the third-generation owner and operator of the family business, Matt manages a team of 104 employees working in one of the company’s three facilities.
Looking toward the future, Matt says the business would like to explore other lamination processes to expand its product offerings. While succession isn’t on his mind at the moment, he mentioned that his three young children do enjoy visiting him at work. “They like helping drive the forklift and taking in the hustle and bustle of the shop. My son especially enjoys it, he’d skip school and come to work with me if he could.” At three, seven and nine years old, they won’t be taking over operations any time soon, however, the future appears bright for the Silliker family business.
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