A Humble "Bee-ginning"
WM. Dyck & Sons is a family owned business that was founded in the early 1950’s by William W. Dyck. The roots of the company go back to the late 1930’s when Mr. Dyck immigrated from Russia after losing his farm to flood, drought and grasshoppers.
He arrived in Niverville, Manitoba, in June 1938 with his family and 300 beehives. On the strength of a handshake, local business man Mr. Bronstone gave Mr. Dyck credit to purchase lumber and build a house to accommodate his growing family and his beehive operation. Mr. Dyck survived on the income from the bees and any other work he could find.
Mr. Dyck was an enterprising man and when hydro came to the town of Niverville, he was eager to make use of potential business opportunities. He invested in two chick incubators in spite of the skepticism of many farmers. His foresight paid off and the next year he purchased six additional units.
The “hatchery” moved in with the bee-keeping facilities, but as time passed the hatchery business grew and the bee-keeping died out. When the need arose, Mr. Dyck purchased a few acres of land at the corner of Main St. and 5th Ave in Niverville. He also purchased a non-producing cheese factory, moved it on to this site and transferred the hatchery into this building. The business was then known as “Dycks Electric Hatchery”. This is still the site of the present day WM. Dyck & Sons (1993).
In those days, the hatchery business was seasonal, which left a lot of idle space when the hatching equipment was not in use. This allowed Mr. Dyck to repurpose some space for selling poultry hardware and farm equipment. This new venture proved to be successful, and the business expanded to include more hardware and building materials. As the years went by, contracting services were also added to the business.
In the early 1950’s Mr. Alex Fast, son-in-law of Mr. Dyck, became a partner in the business and eventually the sole owner after Mr. Dyck’s passing in 1971.
At this time, the hatchery business was booming, so a new hatchery was built across the street from WM. Dyck & Sons to accommodate that part of the company. In 1968 the hatchery was sold to Ogilvie Flour Ltd., then a subsidiary of Labatts Brewers. The retail building material and contracting part of the business remained at the same location and the name was changed to “WM. Dyck & Sons (1968) Ltd.”.
As time passed, the need for more space became apparent. The sale of farm equipment was moved into a separate building on the same yard and later sold to Feedrite in the early 1980’s. A new facility was built for the retail building material and contracting business and the official grand opening ceremonies took place on June 18, 1976. This is still the building which houses WM. Dyck & Sons (1993) today.
As Mr. Fast’s family grew, two of his sons became involved with the business and took over operations when he officially retired in November 1993. Alex Fast Jr., Mr. Fast’s second son, oversaw the contracting interests of the business, which now operates as “Von Ast Construction” under the ownership of his own son Steve Fast. The building material side of the business was sold to Mr. Fast’s youngest son, Carl Fast, operating as “WM. Dyck & Sons (1993)”.
To this day, WM. Dyck & Sons (1993) remains a family run company under the ownership and management of Carl Fast, grandson of Mr. WM. Dyck. His wife, Heather, and their two adult children, Ryan Fast and Kyla Zacharias also work in various departments within the company.
WM. Dyck & Sons (1993) continues to grow, opening a 2,000 sq. ft. Cabinet Centre in 2007 and a 9,000 sq. ft. Flooring Centre in 2015 – both on the same property as the building material retail store which also houses paint, tools, workwear, lumber, plumbing and electrical supplies, and much more.
The company also added a Distribution Center just outside of Niverville on Hwy 311, to efficiently manage building material storage and deliveries. WM. Dyck & Sons (1993) proudly serves customers in communities throughout south eastern Manitoba (including Winnipeg) and into Ontario.