Written by: Jennifer White
Produced by: Sean Bakke
Publication: Business Review Canada & Supply Chain Digital
Interviewee: Patricia Ee, Sales & Marketing Director, Canaroma
Family-owned and operated for nearly 40 years, Canaroma Bath & Tile is one of Canada’s most respected and well-known importers of luxury bath, lighting and tile products. Founded by Frank Piacentini and Roy Mancini in 1979, the company holds tightly to its roots, maintaining the same values today as when it was a two-man startup.
Continuous growthFrom a 7,000 sq. ft. outlet center with an attached showroom to a 20,000 sq. ft. showroom with an attached outlet center, Canaroma has experienced tremendous growth and shows no signs of slowing down. The seamless manner in which the company has been able to update infrastructure and inventory to match customer demands and corporate growth is a clear indication of smart management and a hardworking team with a bright future.
Canaroma aims to introduce additional exclusive brands to its collections each year, attending trade shows around the world and maintaining an awareness of customer needs.
“We listen to our customers; we try to offer what they want,” Patricia Ee, Sales & Marketing Director, said. “Traveling throughout the world, we see different styles and trends that we bring back for our collection.”
The company recently added lighting to its home improvement and design collections, which Ee believes serve as a complement to the current collection of vanities— especially with the Swarovski accents.
In addition, she continued, “We are expanding our trade department by making more connections with designers, decorators and custom home builders.”
These expanding collections, customers and connections are supported by an even bigger expansion-based endeavor: the recent partnership with Improve Canada, the 320,000 sq. ft. home improvement center developed in Toronto. The one-stop-mega shop will allow shoppers access to more than 400 home improvement businesses across 36 different categories under one roof.
“Logistically it is better for customers,” Ee said of the move, which includes a partnership with American Standard.
Competitive advantagesCanaroma’s owners Piacentini and Mancini are excellent at building and maintaining supplier relationships – many have lasted more than the near 40 years the company has been in business – and this trait seems to have secured a place in the company’s culture. And by continuing to foster relationships within the industry, Canaroma is able to offer exclusive brands from around the globe, many of which are not available to purchase from any other company in Canada.
In some cases, Canaroma is “the only North American distributor,” Ee explained.
“Having these brands is an absolute draw for designers and architects who want their client to have something really exclusive and unique. And because we have such a range of products, from very affordable all the way to exclusive, it is a natural connection.”
Canaroma’s collections consist of more than 30 international brands that collectively feature a unique and comprehensive blend of design styles, from classic, vintage and modern to antique, art deco and everything in between.
People and the planet
Luxury and exclusivity are not the brand’s only focus: corporate social responsibility is also important to Canaroma. From reusable materials and green bathroom products to costeffective initiatives for consumers, the company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint as much as it can.
The close knit company also prides itself on maintaining an “at home feeling” in the office that resonates with customers, suppliers and staff members alike.
“We feel like we are part of the Italian family— that comes across when the sales team interacts with customers,” she said.
Over the next year, Ee predicts the company will continue to focus on these core values, adding more suppliers, products and brands to its portfolio and perhaps expanding to the U.S.