The following sampling of buyers’ testimonials will help you get a better idea of the kind of exceptional service and results you can expect from Sunbelt.
We are very proud of these public testimonials from happy buyers and we look forward to exploring how we can best serve your needs too, in buying or selling your business.
ALBERTO GARCIA, WAG, OTTAWA, ONTARIO
Going from diesel repair to doggie day care is less of a stretch than you think. Why? Because the skill sets required for both are transferrable. And that’s what Alberto Garcia counted on when he moved to Ottawa from Querétaro, Mexico, to buy Wag, a doggie-themed business in Old Ottawa South.
“I’m really grateful to Greg [Kells] and the Sunbelt team. They are why I’m here.”
JAVAD SHAKOOH, WAHTA, MONTREAL, QUEBEC
Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard weren’t the only Canadian stars at Wimbleton’s recent tennis championships. Raise a glass to Javad Shakooh and Wahta pure maple water—the main ingredient in the Wimbledon Smoothie—and marketed by Pure Canada, a company he acquired through Sunbelt’s Montreal Central office.
“Gonzalo [Suarez] exhibits two qualities that are important to me,” Javad says. “He’s honest and respectful. … Any feedback from Gonzalo was always totally correct. He presented the business right.”
ANDRÉ LEFEVRE, BLINDS WITH FLAIR, OTTAWA, ONTARIO
As an accountant for over 20 years, André Lefevre had worked on the books of other entrepreneurs. He saw how owning your own business can lead to financial success as well as to other rewards. “Other people are doing it. Why can’t I?” André thought.
In 2014, the time was right; the opportunity was right: So André Lefevre bought Blinds with Flair in Ottawa.
“Right from the beginning of my dealings with Greg [Kells], I found the people and experience professional. The service is fantastic.”
BROCK HARRISON, PIRATE ADVENTURES, OTTAWA, ONTARIO
As he considered life after retirement from the Canadian Navy, Brock Harrison considered running his own business. A friend suggested that he explore what business brokers have to offer. An Internet search led to Sunbelt Business Brokers and to Khaled Bitar, a broker in Sunbelt’s Ottawa office.
“I definitely faced a learning curve,” Brock remarked. “But Sunbelt sets everything out well. Khaled was fantastic at giving me the direction I needed and taught me what I needed to know to get through the process (of buying Pirate Adventures).”
GAETAN BUTTIGIEG, OTTAWA, ONTARIO
AGB Lawyers was already a successful, well-managed legal practice. But Gaetan Buttigieg wanted to build value in his firm and add strength on the litigation side. Sunbelt Ottawa owner Greg Kells helped Gaetan purchase a complementary Ottawa-based law firm with the valuable expertise he was seeking. Gaetan is so pleased with his Sunbelt experience that he’s looking to Sunbelt again, this time for a corporate practice.
DELORES BLOCK, EDMONTON, ALBERTA
Delores Block likes small-town community life. When she discovered an opportunity to bid on purchasing an Alberta Registry Office in a nice, small town outside of Edmonton, she pursued it with Michael McCulloch, owner of the Sunbelt Edmonton office. Delores found Michael and business broker Dale Alton, who was instrumental in helping her with her business plan, to be “awesome people” who helped her every step of the way.
SARMAD MALIK, BRAMPTON, ONTARIO
For Sarmad Malik, owner and CEO of Weldflow Metal Products in Brampton, it’s all about adding value. A passion for taking a company and turning it around is what brought him into the marketplace for a business . . . and to Rob Mitchell, broker/owner of Sunbelt’s Guelph, Ontario office.
“Sunbelt was very informative. No fluff; very straight forward.” Malik said. “Rob Mitchell and his team were very well prepared with a presentation, and the entire process was professionally handled.”
JOHN AND SHARON SAIKALEY AND LINDA CHARETTE CAMPBELL, OTTAWA, ONTARIO
The Sausage Kitchen is a favoured destination in a favoured shopping district with potential for growth. The decision to purchase the business came quickly for the Saikaleys. “We knew as soon as we saw it,” says Sharon.
“We were fortunate to have Greg (Kells, Sunbelt Ottawa) in the middle for both parties,” says John. “It definitely made it easier to get deal done. Both parties knew where the other was coming from.”
MITCH AND SABRINA DAWSON, LONDON, ONTARIO
Mitch and Sabrina Dawson have shown themselves to be smart navigators—land or sea, life and business. In early 2012, the destination they had in mind was Facility Resources, a London-based company that designs and installs modular furniture and modular case goods for healthcare, corporate and higher education clients.
The Dawsons engaged London business broker Erik Twohig to act on their behalf.
Buying a business is complex, they knew. “We needed someone with Erik’s experience on our side,” says Mitch. “It more than paid for the cost. Doing something once, you are well advised to have a guide.”
DWAYNE DUDIAK AND DAVE TOMLINSON, EDMONTON, ALBERTA
The right industry, good revenue, a realistic asking price—one particular auto repair shop stood out as a good opportunity when Dwayne Dudiak found the business-for-sale listing on the Sunbelt of Edmonton website. At the time, Dwayne and his soon-to-be business partner, Dave Tomlinson, were co-workers at a fleet-based company.
The two met with Michael McCulloch, owner of the local Sunbelt office in Edmonton, to get more of an idea of what was involved in purchasing this business-of-interest from the long-time owner.
“Everything with Sunbelt is up front,” says Dave. “Michael was more than helpful.”
CARMINE CATINO, LAVAL, QUEBEC
Carmine Catino bought Laval restaurant Au blanc d’oeuf in November 2010. A year later he’s still celebrating. So are his staff. And why not—they’re largely the reason!
Most of them stayed on when Carmine purchased the well-liked Vimont neighbourhood destination and they soon became his extended family. Families like to celebrate events like birthdays and the Au blanc d’oeuf family is no exception!
Carmine also celebrates his good fortune in connecting with Sunbelt Laval office owner Tony Raimondo, who brokered his purchase of the restaurant and sold the video store that Carmine owned in nearby Mascouche, Quebec.
It was the desire to sell his video store that brought Carmine to Tony in the first place. “No one has time for all the legwork,” says Carmine. “Tony saved me the headache of meeting 50 different people. And that’s why we were able to get it done in the end.”
MICHEL MASTROGIOVANNI ET PIETRO LOMASCOLO, LAVAL, QUEBEC
Finding a job often comes down to who you know. The same could be said for locating and buying a business, where a business broker might become your next best friend. And customer!
Such was the case for Michael Mastrogiovanni and Pietro Lomascolo, whose timely connection with Sunbelt business broker Tony Raimondo helped them find and purchase the bistro they now own in Laval, Quebec.
“We’d been looking for a few months without finding anything,” explains Pietro, a former systems analyst. “Then we saw a listing for a cafeteria, which led us to Tony’s office. He told us he had something nearby that was a better fit for our needs and suggested that the three of us check it out. A short walk around the corner and we were at the Rustico Express having coffee. It seemed to be everything we were looking for.”
Both Michael and Pietro appreciate the assistance they received from Tony. “It was like asking a friend for help”, says Pietro. “He’d call us back on the weekend, always professional but friendly, guiding us on everything that was needed. Everything fell into place.”
MIKE WAY, OTTAWA, ONTARIO
Mike Way has the power to see into concrete. It all began in April 2011 when he and a business partner acquired Underground Service Locators Inc. (USL-1). “I have the luxury of a partner with a wealth of hands-on business experience,” says Mike. “We also had Sunbelt’s guidance to find and buy the business.”
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REG AINBINDER, OTTAWA, ONTARIO
Reg Ainbinder recognized the culture of quality when he purchased Care Free Property Maintenance through Sunbelt Business Brokers in April 2011.
It took six months from his initial meeting with Sunbelt to connect with the right business then a further six months to secure the purchase.
His experience with Sunbelt was positive: “I was presented with a good viable business whose value made relative sense. The business had been properly set up for sale and everything that was shown to me then has proven to be true.”
Since he took ownership in April 2011, Reg has added to the systems and computerized, but the checks and balances he was looking for in a business were already there.
TERRY HERALD, CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO
Terry Herald’s philosophy—when you have a business, use it to help someone every day—isn’t posted to any wall. It doesn’t need to be. It is what he lives and breathes.
And for him, it’s one of the top benefits of owning his own business.
Terry purchased Whetham’s Tirecraft Auto in July 2011, aided by business broker Rob Mitchell, owner of Sunbelt’s Guelph, Ontario, office. “When it comes to business people and deals I’m a natural skeptic,” Terry admits. “So when I first met Rob, I assumed his allegiance was only to the seller. But throughout the process, I learned otherwise. Rob scores 100% on integrity. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend his services.”
BILL KENNEY, OTTAWA
Bill Kenney’s friends told him not to buy a business. But he did. And that worked out so well he bought another, three years later.
Bill, you see, had just retired after 35 years in scientific instrument sales. At 66, he wasn’t about to “sit home and read newspapers.”
Local broker Olga Nadjakova became his guide to locating and buying the business that met his needs.
“I went to seminars and looked at franchises first,” says Bill. “But what I wanted was an established business that was locally owned.”
Olga connected Bill with ROVIS and it fit the bill.
Bill saw the business as a sound investment—much less risky than the stock market.
Bill was not looking for another business but he was keen to hear more when Sunbelt Ottawa office owner Greg Kells called in 2012 with “the perfect acquisition.”
David’s was providing for restaurants what ROVIS provides for grocery stores, says Greg, also president of Sunbelt Canada. “I could see the synergies with Bill’s operation.”
Under the ROVIS umbrella, David’s immediately gained a centralized service, with accountant, bookkeeper and software. ROVIS gained a much larger client base—without additional expense.
SERGE SAVOIE, A-1 PLUMBING, MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK
Serge Savoie had an insider’s view of the Moncton, New Brunswick, business he purchased in mid-2010 from previous owner, Dennis Poirier. Serge worked alongside Dennis in the business for some 15 years.
Owning A-1 Plumbing, though, was never something he thought possible. Meeting Sunbelt business broker Dave Barnett changed everything. Dave, owner of Sunbelt Moncton’s office, helped pave the way for Serge to secure the bank loans he needed to seal the deal, including financing from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
“Dave made it all possible. He helped structure the deal, managed the loan application process, helped with documents and managed the needs of the lenders.”
“Since everything was put together at the time of application the turnaround time at the bank was kept to a minimum,” adds Dave.
BRIAN MULDOON, SILVER CROSS, OTTAWA, ONTARIO
Brian Muldoon had always wanted his own business. From time to time, the Ottawa resident would check out listings of businesses for sale online. As the years passed, the instability of working for large companies fueled his desire to venture out on his own.
Brian finally saw the opportunity he’d been waiting for: a listing for a “successful and profitable supplier of new and refurbished accessibility and mobility equipment in fast growing mode.”
He gives full credit to Sunbelt for making his purchase of the franchise possible.
“Chris (Skowronski) was amazing. Everyone was quite helpful in all aspects of the transaction, right down to after the sale. They didn’t miss a beat.”
LAURA CHAULK, SNAZZY SECONDS, ORLEANS, ONTARIO
Last October, Laura Chaulk walked into Snazzy Seconds to sell a table and chairs. She ended up buying a store.
A savvy consignment shopper, Laura had been thrilled to discover the store when she moved back to the area several years ago.
Jason (Kells) was excellent,” says Laura. “He walked me through everything I needed to know, addressing all my concerns. He was always available when I called him, making sure it was a good experience.
MIKE PETRYSCHUK , ROGERS MATERIAL HANDLING, CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO
A professional engineer, Mike Petryschuk spent most of his career in the chemical industry running manufacturing operations for plants. The downsizing of the industry in the early 2000s left him seeking new employment options.
“When I first started working with Mike – I knew he was an entrepreneur at heart,” says business broker Rob Mitchell, the owners of Sunbelt’s Guelph, Ontario office. “So when we couldn’t negotiate a deal at the first company we worked on together – I was a little surprised when he decided to take a job. But as it turns out – he called me again in a couple of years and was in the market again to buy a business. This time we found a company he was interested in and a vendor who was great to work with.”
“Rob was quite a good rep,” Mike adds. “He was open and easy to work with, treating both parties fairly and focused on getting a deal. Lawyers want the deal to be risk free but entrepreneurs know that’s not going to happen. Rob kept the process moving, helping where it was needed, and in the end, he got it done.”
SHELLEY AND BART GARNER, LONDON, ONTARIO
Shelley and Bart Garner credit Sunbelt London office owner Erik Twohig with finding their ideal business—a profitable pet-centric business–and saving the related deal. In fact, using a business broker is the top advice they’d give to anyone considering buying a business.
“You really need that intermediary. If we hadn’t had Erik, our deal would have died on the vine,” says Bart.
SHANE CHARABIAN, STE JAMES GATE OLDE IRISH RESTAURANT AND PUB, CARLETON PLACE, ONTARIO
Shane wasn’t typical of the individuals that walk into Sunbelt’s offices wanting to buy a business. He was young but experienced. And when Sunbelt found his “match”, he was ready to act.
KRISTA THOMPSON AND GENEVIEVE BONIN, BOOMERANG KIDS, OTTAWA
Although Krista Thompson and Genevieve Bonin held executive positions, buying a business was a totally new experience.
“We came in to Sunbelt all wide eyes and quaking knees but Greg was great,” says Krista. “He helped us jump through the hoops and made referrals for us to his network of business advisors. The whole deal went smoothly.”
DWIGHT CAMPBELL, MATCO TOOLS, OTTAWA
Dwight Campbell was ready to branch out on his own, but before acquiring a business, he did his homework. After reading a book that strongly recommended going through a business broker, he started contacting brokers. Sunbelt impressed him the most and when they introduced him to Matco’s automotive industry tool distribution franchise, he liked what he saw.
“Sunbelt has a really good selection of companies,” says Dwight. “They’re definitely in the know as to who is buying or selling companies. Their strategy is good. They inform the buyer of the company’s previous history and introduce buyer to seller.
“I absolutely would recommend Sunbelt to anyone looking to buy a business.”
BRIAN BEAUCHAMP, THE ORANGE MONKEY, OTTAWA
Brian Beauchamp had been looking to buy a business for 12 years. “You name it, I looked into it,” says the former federal government lawyer.
“But only when I found Sunbelt business brokers did I find the right business for me. And quickly…”
I like the way Sunbelt works, they screen out applicants, honour confidentiality and you always feel they’re representing both sides fairly.”
SHANE MCINNES AND NATASHA HALL-TREMBLAY, CHAPEL HILL PET STUDIO, OTTAWA
When their spouses (Marie McInnes and Luc Tremblay) started looking for new careers, long-time friends Shane McInnes and Natasha Hall-Tremblay started looking on the Internet. There they found Sunbelt Business Brokers.
“We quickly realized that Sunbelt has the listings,” says Shane.
And so started the events that saw Chapel Hill Pet Studio passed from one enthusiastic family-based business team to another.
“Buying a business can be very stressful and the broker was extremely patient throughout the whole process. He kept a level head and whenever we needed to see him, he made arrangements for us to do so.”
DOUG OVERBURY, AUTO ELECTRIC REBUILDERS, OTTAWA
After 30 years in key engineering and executive management positions with leading international companies, Doug Overbury wanted his own business. He also wanted to get out of Toronto and back to eastern Ontario. What he needed to find was the right business in the right location. Happily, his search led him to Sunbelt Business Brokers and Auto Electric.
“Sunbelt’s Ottawa team helped me put together the cash flows and projections, pulled together the numbers I needed and structured a deal that would work for me,” says Doug
“You know, if you go looking for a business on your own and start dealing with an owner who is thinking of retiring, often the likelihood is that the seller changes his mind about selling. But when a seller has signed up with Sunbelt and gone through the detailed analysis and business documentation they do, and a willing buyer is found, the seller sells.
“Without Sunbelt my purchase wouldn’t have happened at all.”
TAPLEN CONSTRUCTION, OTTAWA
Taplen Construction was Henry Armstrong’s baby. But after four and a half decades of hands-on devotion to business, Henry was ready to retire. Like all caring parents, he wanted the best for his baby so he turned to the best- Sunbelt Business Brokers—to locate a suitable buyer. “I definitely didn’t want to close down the operation,” he says. “I have a lot of good people working for me and I wanted to make sure the company carried on.”
Impressed with Sunbelt’s client roster and philosophy, he listed Taplen Construction for sale with Sunbelt. He is delighted with the results. “Sunbelt’s staff is excellent,” he says. “They really kept things moving and got the sale done.”
After due consideration of two potential buyers, Henry opted to sell the business to Michael Assal, who moved his family back to Ottawa from Washington, D.C., where they were living when the opportunity surfaced.
“The transaction required me to spend a lot of time negotiating with Mr. Armstrong,” says Michael. “Sunbelt was very professional and often stepped in to facilitate when possible areas of conflict surfaced.
“Things well went from the first week I took ownership.”
STUDIO ELEGANTE, OTTAWA
Sam (Ahmed) Rabaa and his wife Maha were thrilled at the opportunity to move to California. But they faced one major hurdle: before they could leave Ottawa, Sam had to sell Studio Elegante, his successful hairdressing salon. Sam had tried to sell it privately but, at the 11th hour, the deal fell through.
Then Maha went on line and found Sunbelt Business Brokers, says Sam. “We called, reached agent Mark Cullen, met with him, and listed the business.”
“Andrew was impressed with Sunbelt,” says Nathalie. “He used to be a banker so he knew what to look for. He researched several of the businesses that were listed with Sunbelt and the information was good.”
The Bunsicks contacted Sunbelt and sat down with agent Mark Cullen.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Would they recommend Sunbelt to others?