Business model that sticks - Belleville Intelligencer
Source: Belleville Intelligencer Published on: December 20, 2019 By Alex Filipe
The Walsh family has always loved hockey.
However, the one thing they didn’t enjoy was the high cost of reliable and quality equipment that comes with it. That’s why when Joey Walsh finished his time working alongside the Vancouver Canucks and the Vancouver Olympic Committee out west, he decided to make a difference in his home town of Belleville.
“I wanted to come home and do something different,” Walsh said. “I purchased sort of a whole full system out in Victoria (BC) that was really working well in the (hockey) stick repair space.”
In 2010 Joey, alongside his father and mother, began what would soon be known as The Hockey Stick Man as a way to give people lower priced options on good quality sticks. Since Walsh and his father would be at his siblings’ hockey games already, getting a steady supply of cheap stock was easy.
“We would just ask (hockey teams) to buy their broken sticks, at the time everybody was just throwing them in the garbage. So they were more than happy to do business with us,” explained Walsh.
When Walsh decided to take his business online after a suggestion from a friend it really began to take off.
“Just like people would come out to our basement and buy sticks and, through word of mouth, everybody in Belleville kind of knew us, it started happening in Arizona, Dallas, New York, Pennsylvania, all these other little towns and places,” Walsh said.
Now the Hockey Stick Man is an internationally known name providing refurbished and new sticks and equipment to players both across Canada and the United States.
“We are by far the biggest in Canada in pro (equipment), there’s really only one competitor in the US that’s anywhere close to doing the same business that we do,” Walsh explained.
Walsh has recently opened up a second warehouse in Mississauga, but for the Hockey Stick Man, there’s no better homebase than in Belleville.
“It’s cheaper for me to ship out of Belleville than it is for Mississauga,” Walsh explained. “What an incredible opportunity to have (the warehouse) in Belleville. You have access to the biggest selection of pro stock hockey sticks in the country right at your fingertips.”