"A key to running a successful business is taking a hands-on approach and always being directly involved with your staff and customers."

Lifelong Glace Bay resident Jeep Kennedy is living proof of the value of hard work. Kennedy's real name is Thomas, but you'd be hard pressed to find anybody who calls him by anything but Jeep. Among the people who know him as Jeep are the many customers he's come to know as owner of Cameron's Building Supplies in Glace Bay.

Kennedy was exposed to the building supply business at a young age. Three of his uncles at one time or another worked at what was then known as Hugh Cameron Sons Building Supplies. Growing up on Lower Main Street in Glace Bay, Kennedy spent a lot of his spare time at the store. "From the time I was seven years old, I was involved in the building supplies business," he says. Kennedy went to work at Hugh Cameron Sons Building Supplies for ten years, and then to Chappels Limited in Sydney where he continued to learn the ropes of the building supply business for another ten years. In the early 1970s, Chappels was bought out by Nova Scotia Building Supplies and Kennedy worked for them for about five years. On August 13, 1977, Kennedy bought and officially took over Hugh Cameron Sons Building Supplies - the place where he had first been exposed to the business - and changed the name to Cameron's Building Supplies.

Since 1977 Kennedy has orchestrated a number of changes at the building supply store, including the construction of a new, bigger building, as well as joining the Castle buying group, the largest independent buying group in Canada. Both of these major changes were made in the early 1980s. Kennedy has also expanded the inventory in the store, which today includes wood paneling, insulation, roofing material, windows, a full hardware line, and anything else needed by a building contractor or a handyman.

When Kennedy took over the business it had five employees; today Cameron's is staffed by 18 employees.

Kennedy says owning a business has been rewarding, but emphasized that any success he's enjoyed has come as a result of hard work. "I don't mind working," he says. "I love the business. This is my life." He says a key to running a successful business is taking a hands-on approach and always being directly involved with your staff and customers. "Businesses don't run themselves," he says. "When you own a business it's 24 hours a day."

While business has always been a big part of his life, his family always comes first. Kennedy and his wife Janice have three children - Robert, Arlene and Leona - and seven grandchildren. And with much of the day-to-day operation of Cameron's now being done by his daughter Leona and son-in-law Billy Gillis, Kennedy says he's looking forward to a complete retirement. Then he'll have time to take it easy and relax.

At our Glace Bay location we stock a wide selection of carpet, cushioned flooring, paint, paint supplies, as well as wallpaper and borders. You can order lumber, building materials and hardware from this location, or simply visit our Cameron's Store.

We have two locations to serve you. Contact Cameron's Building Supplies, Glace Bay Building Supplies.

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We're a member of Castle, Canada's premier LBM buying group.

Since 1963, builders, contractors and consumers have trusted Castle dealers for their their lumber and building materials (LBM). Whether you're looking for lumber, building materials or hardware, there are hundreds of dealers across Canada.

Castle dealers are independent. They run their own stores and family businesses. They know their communities and they understand their customers want selection, expert advice and quality products, all at a competitive price. That's why Castle members are growing and succeeding across Canada - they live in the communities they serve. At Castle, we're your trusted building supply partner.

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