Second Generation-Continued Growth and Diversification
BD's son, Laurie Burnett Stevens, successfully transitioned the family construction business to the second generation. Starting work with the company in 1957, he also started his own company, L.B. Stevens Construction Limited, and grew the business over the years to become the Stevens Group of Companies. "LB," as Laurie was known, always enjoyed the concrete and aggregate industries as well as the construction business. So it was not surprising that Gateway Materials Limited, an aggregate quarry started in the late 1960’s on Kearney Lake Road in Halifax, received considerable attention from Laurie as the business grew servicing local markets.
When LB purchased Dartmouth Ready Mix Ltd. in 1974, another area of keen interest for Laurie was ready to take off. Under his guidance, the business of the supply of ready mix concrete has grown from the original plant in Dartmouth, to 12 plants in two provinces today with a fleet of 90 ready mix trucks. The original Dartmouth Ready Mix name now operates as Quality Concrete with the familiar bright yellow and grey mixer trucks.
During this time of growth, Laurie relocated the Stevens Group of Companies in 1980 from the original homestead area of B.D. Stevens on Main Avenue in Fairview to a new Tilt-Up office building at their present location on 20 MacDonald Avenue in the Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth, NS. This project was the Group’s first Tilt-Up project. Since this inaugural attempt using Tilt-Up, the Group has continued to develop and grow the use of Tilt-Up construction techniques such that it is recognized as a leader in the growing sector of Tilt-Up construction.
The Group’s success with Tilt-Up is further widened by the tremendous growth and success of its sister company, Citadel Contractors Inc., who operate as a Tilt-Up specialist out of Apex, North Carolina. Citadel has received over seven awards from the TCA for outstanding use of Tilt-Up construction in its first five years of operations.
Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Stevens Group has been involved in various developments and real estate projects and to this day, still retains commercial properties for lease in the Halifax/Dartmouth area.
The Group of Companies also operates Rosecrest Communities, which runs three long term care facilities, The Magnolia in Enfield, NS, the Ivy Meadows in Beaverbank, NS and the Sagewood in Lower Sackville, NS. All are recognized as leaders in the province in the long term care industry. The Ivy Meadows has been in continuous operation with the Group since 1969 with the Sagewood and Magnolia joining the complement of facilities as newly-built locations in 2010.
Third Generation-Continued Growth and Entrepreneurship
The turn of the century saw the succession of the Group to the third generation. Continuing in the tradition of their father and grandfather, Thane and Scott Stevens, who have been with the companies since the 1980's, have continued to grow the Group with the operation of the Young Street Mini Storage Facility and Coastal Entrance Solutions, which is a hollow metal door and frame supplier to the local construction industry.
The brothers’ most recent foray into diversification for the Group has come with the investment into Sustainable Fish Farming (Canada) Ltd. (marketed under the brand Sustainable Blue). Sustainable Fish Farms have two locations in Centre Burlington, NS and Millbrook, NS. Currently raising freshwater arctic char in Millbrook, and recently embarking upon raising salmon at the Centre Burlington location, Sustainable Fish Farming uses a proprietary land-based fish farming technology which allows for circulation, filtration and re-circulation of water. This ensures there is no effluent discharge that is associated with other fish-farming ventures. The fish are raised in a chemical and antibiotic-free environment and result in a superior product and little to no impact on the environment.
This diversity in industry and the Group’s dynamic and committed employees will hold the key to continued success for the Group into the future.