Owners of trucks both big and small take pride in their rides, and that pays off for House of Chrome owners Russell Dovzuk and James Lee.
The pair runs its truck accessory business at 5232 Portage Ave. in Headingley. Their front door is just a stone’s throw from the busy Trans-Canada Highway, where dozens of potential customers drive past each day.
Dovzuk and Lee met almost a decade ago when Lee was working as a parts manager at Bison Transport and Dovzuk sold parts for Kenworth Trucks. The two would go for coffee and talk about potential ways to make more money.
"This (the House of Chrome) was one idea," Lee said.
They opened the business seven years ago, and agree that it was a good decision. They carry a wide range of accessories, including visors, exhaust stacks and fenders for trucks
ranging from semis to half-tons, or heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles. As well as selling accessories, they install them and employ a part-time mechanic.
Lee said they discovered there are no competitors selling accessories for large trucks anywhere in the Canadian Prairies. While they don’t sell online, their website lists their products, and they will ship out phone orders.
"We get orders from all over," Lee said.
They split their business about half and half between selling accessories for heavy and light-duty trucks, said Dovzuk.
Attendees at the recent Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival at Red River Exhibition Park had the chance to tour through the House of Chrome’s Big Rig Show ’N Shine. Dovzuk said they had held an annual customer appreciation event on their property, then were approached by festival organizers last year who asked if they would hold their show as part of the festival.
The partners agree their sponsorship of the show is a great opportunity to promote the business, as hundreds of people admire the shining semis on display.
"There are a lot of people who haven’t seen these trucks up close," said Dovzuk.
They plan to keep building up their business, and hope to expand their premises in the future, but say they’ll remain in the Headingley area.