Where it all began
After graduating with a business degree from the Université de Moncton and working briefly in the banking and distillery industries, Normand Caissie, 25, decided it was time to set up his own company in the heating industry, a field he knew well thanks to other entrepreneurs in his family.
Imperial Sheet Metal Ltd., the first of the Imperial Manufacturing Group of Companies, saw light of day in 1979 in a brand new 6,400 sq. ft. building.
Imperial ventures into Black Matt
Imperial Sheet Metal began to produce a line of black matt stove pipes and elbows.
Imperial enters the flexible ducting industry
Imperial made its first large-scale investment in new equipment to cater flexible ducting for both the retail and wholesale ventilation industries.
Expands into Central Canada
Agreements with hardware distributors brought an increased market share in Ontario and Quebec.
The year also saw the opening of a sales office in Toronto and its introduction into the highly competitive U.S. market for the very first time.
Imperial Brush Co. Ltd.
Imperial made news headlines when it acquired the assets of Wood Fuel Technology, a Nova Scotia chimney brush manufacturer.
Imperial Brush Co. Ltd. began producing chimney brushes, rods, and accessories at the plant in Richibucto for distribution across Canada and the U.S.
Imperial begins to manufacture building products
Imperial’s third division was incorporated – Imperial Building Products Inc. Expanding yet again, the Richibucto operations increased its plant size and Mississauga, Ontario and Longueuil, Quebec saw new sales offices.
And then there were four - Imperial Air Filters Ltd.
Imperial purchased the assets of Atlantic Air Filters and incorporated a fourth division - Imperial Air Filters Ltd.
Additional warehouse and manufacturing space were added to the Richibucto facility to house the new acquisition.
On this same year, Normand received the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, New Brunswick’s francophone business association.
Imperial acquires Kool-Ray Ltd.
A Montreal-based manufacturer of aluminum products, including railings, columns and awnings, the Kool-Ray brand was taken under the wings of Imperial. This led to incorporating a fifth division - Imperial Kool-Ray Inc.
Imperial opens its first US location and Imperial Registers came into existence.
Imperial opened its first US Sales Office in Hamel, Illinois.
Another milestone in this year, Imperial acquired Holden Register Inc. of Kitchener, Ontario and incorporated its sixth division, Imperial Registers Inc.
Construction of the Corporate Head Office in Richibucto, NB was also completed.
Growth brings additional expansions
As Imperial acquired more companies, it became obvious that it required additional facilities. Expansions in Hamel, IL, Richibucto, NB, and the start of construction for a new warehouse in Dieppe, NB under MACC rounded out one of the biggest years in Imperial’s history.
Imperial announced the acquisitions of Design Krolon Ltd., a Canadian company specializing in aluminum columns. It also acquired Break Thru Products Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, the developer of the plastic pop-up vent deflector. Finally, Imperial purchased Bo-flex Inc., a Montreal-based producer of ventilation products. Bo-flex became Imperial’s seventh division.
That year, Imperial also bought the assets of a competitor, Talarico Inc. of Lasalle, Quebec. Normand had the opportunity to visit this plant in 1978 which inspired him to become a sheet metal manufacturer.
Startup, acquisitions, and recognition
Imperial created its eighth division, Imperial Air Technologies Inc. This division offered a complete range of products designed to improve indoor air quality.
Later that year, Imperial acquired Kel Kem, a company manufacturing stove and fireplace cleaning and maintenance products based in Pickering, Ontario.
That same year, Normand purchased Filtration Plus of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and consolidated it with Imperial Air Filters under the Filtration Plus brand.
Lastly, Normand received recognition for his accomplishments from Ernst & Young, naming him as the 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year in the manufacturing segment.
Imperial moved its U.S. operations from Hamel, IL to a larger facility in Alton, IL.
Imperial also established a steel studs and sheet metal manufacturing and distribution centre in Oakville, ON.
Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies and CHHMA Hall of Fame
In 2010, Imperial became one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, an award sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, National Post, and the Queen’s School of Business.
Normand was also inducted into the Canadian Hardware and Houseware Manufacturers Association’s Industry Hall of Fame, Canada's premier association for suppliers of home improvement and household consumer goods.
JA New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame
Normand Caissie was inducted into the JA New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame.
Imperial acquired Champion, a sheet metal manufacturer located in Peoria, Illinois, and moved the manufacturing plant to Maryland Heights, MO.
Fusion Building Products
Through the creation of a partnership with one of Canada’s largest gypsum speciality dealers (GSD), Fusion Building Products, a new steel stud manufacturer, came into existence in Laval, Quebec.
Acquisition of Don Park Manufacturing
Imperial succesfully acquired Don Park Manufacturing, a major competitor in the HVAC industry, and moved it from York Mills, ON to Scarborough, ON. The purchase of Don Park provided Imperial with access to the HVAC wholesale market.
Filtration Plus moved to its new location in Halifax’s ever-growing Dartmouth Crossing area of Burnside Industrial Park.
Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Winners and Order of New Brunswick
Imperial earn its Platinum Club membership with Canada's Best Managed, an achievement awarded after retaining its Best Managed designation for seven consecutive years. Since then, Imperial has continued to retain its Platinum Club status.
That year, Normand also received the Order of New Brunswick for his outstanding work in the economic development of his community and the Province of New Brunswick.
A coast-to-coast stud manufacturer: Imperial Building Products
Imperial purchased Steelform Building Products Canada located in Edmonton, AB, Vancouver, BC, and Mississauga, ON.
With the amalgamation of Fusion Building Products and Steelform Building Products Canada, Imperial created Imperial Building Products (IBP). This company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Imperial Manufacturing Group and gave Canada a coast-to-coast national stud manufacturer.
Celebrating 40 years of manufacturing
Today, Imperial Manufacturing Group has become a leader in producing a complete range of light commercial and residential air distribution products, building products and innovative air quality equipment for the North American wholesale and retail industries. In total, the company offers an impressive array of more than 7,000 products.
With 11 manufacturing facilities and distribution centres on both sides of the border, the group’s total space now exceeds 1,000,000 sq. ft.
Imperial remains committed to the process of continuous growth and customer satisfaction through acquisitions and adding to our growing list of member companies and services. That has been our success formula from day one.