Lesson 2 : Start modestly and grow

Kenroc started small.

In 1967, Ken Sexton invested $3,500 to launch Regina’s first supply house catering exclusively to the drywall trade.
Even then, $3,500 was not much to get started. Kenroc’s first building was on the small side on a rented lot next to the railway line in Regina’s core neighbourhood near Taylor Field.

“The original building was so small, you couldn’t have more than three people in there at one time,” said Jim Sexton, Ken Sexton’s son, who remembers visiting for the first time as a 10-year-old.

“If mom and dad were in there, and two customers came in, someone had to leave the building because it was that small.”

Vic Winik was one of Kenroc’s first employees. He drove a rickety forklift and an old truck with questionable brakes. They battled the weather, putting up modest structures to try to protect their products.

But that modest start was enough to get them going. Winik kept the vehicles running, took orders, made deliveries and managed the tiny Kenroc yard.

Sexton relied on his talent for sales and promotion to get customers. That combined with good timing gave him a running start as the company rode an upswing in the Regina housing market.

Once Kenroc was on its feet, new employees arrived. A few contractors followed Sexton from Bird Construction to his new company.

By 1969, Kenroc bought a former Co-op property on the other side of the railyard that had covered storage for materials.
As the company’s resources permitted and opportunities arose, the company evolved and expanded into other key markets across Western Canada.