Atlantic Braids

The United Counties of Prescott and Russell’s vast territory holds every kind of business. When we think of them, our mind usually goes to agriculture, small shops, restaurants… And even though true, it doesn’t stop there. Far from it, for some of the unique businesses found here are relatively unknown.

One of these rare enterprises is Atlantic Braids, a family-owned, local manufacturer of quality cordage - AKA really nice rope.

The company was founded by George Henderson in 1976 and the name, Atlantic Braids, was picked for a very interesting reason.

“Today, people search through Google. Back in those days, people searched in the Yellow Pages. If your name started with ‘A’, you were at the top of the list. ‘Atlantic’ was also connected to the ocean, sailing, fishing… That used to be our big business,” recounted Henderson.

Indeed, it all started while Henderson and his partner were working on building a concrete boat.

“At the time, my partner and I were looking to start our own business. We were building a boat and selling bits of rope to friends and other businesses. We soon found out that if we started making rope, we’d be selling a lot more,” explained Henderson.

Henderson and his partner proceeded to buy equipment and, soon after, received their first order. Back then, much of their clientele required specialized rope to tie their boat.

Today, Atlantic Braids nears its 40th anniversary, has 34 employees and Henderson, along with his son Doug, are both Managing Directors next to Nick Snow, Atlantic Braids’ president and friend of the family.

Snow has been with Atlantic Braids for eight years and has seen much evolution in the company’s product and international clientele.

“The U.S. is our biggest growth right now. We’ve taken on some major new clients that have taken two-three years to develop,” said Snow.

Nowadays, Atlantic Braids’ clientele isn’t limited to the naval industry. According to Snow, some of their biggest clients are the forestry, mining, oil and agriculture industries.

“Right now, our largest market is forestry - the arborists - people that climb and cut trees.”

An Atlantic Braids product often ends up being a major player in people’s safety. For 40 years, they have been creating custom product of the highest quality.

“We focus on braided rope and this company started by catering to customers that have specific needs. We get a lot of business because we help people with their designs. If a product isn’t on the shelves, then we’ll spend time with clients and develop a product for them,” explained Snow.

On of Atlantic Braids’ most fascinating products is a type of rope that can replace steel cable called SupreemX-12TM.

“You can basically replace a steel cable with a rope that’s 1\7th the weight and stronger than steel. It’s very popular and very safe - no flying steel cables,” said Snow.

Quality of product, great service and smart business practices have helped Atlantic Braids grow steadily and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be stopping anytime soon.

“It’s continually growing,” confirmed Snow.

“We’ve grown by 35% versus last year, thanks to clients we took on that are major players in their markets. Last year was a record year and it’s keeping up.”

Room to grow

Atlantic Braids is located in Chute-à-Blondeau, in East Hawkesbury, by exit #1 where highways 417 and 40 meet on the border of Ontario and Québec.

While the company’s previous installations were nothing to scoff at, it has recently purchased neighbouring land and built a brand new factory on top of it.

“We weren’t allowed to build on the old lot anymore. We started construction of the new space last summer and now, here we are, in our new building,” recounted Snow.

In addition to generous space, Atlantic Braids has many reasons to feel at home within the UCPR.

“We’re right on the highway and on the Ontario border with Québec. There’s a channel between us and Ottawa, it’s easy to ship to Toronto, taxes are fairly low… There’s was never a thought to move the business out of this region.”

Atlantic Braids’ comfy new digs have clearly been designed with expansion in mind, with a building that’s just waiting to double in size. Moreover, with the growth in business, the company is looking to expand its team as well.

Anyone interested in joining this great team would do well to visit the company’s website, atlanticbraids.com. It’s never too late to be part of a success story!
Inside Atlantic Braids manufacture a business in Prescott and Russell