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Local entrepreneur lands major manufacturing contract

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Local entrepreneur Mark Faragher has good reason to smile these days after landing a major business deal with Ticom Corporation of Detroit, Mich. as the Canadian manufacturer and distributor of their fiberglass truck toppers.

The vehicle accessory, dubbed a “top-up topper” is made of double-shelled fibreglass with a foam core used to cover the box of a pick-up truck.

Raised and lowered by hydraulics, the topper can be used as a storage compartment, ATV or snowmobile cover, or as a frame for an optional tent package sold by Ticom.

“It’s the cadillac of covers,” Faragher enthused last week, noting they will be made at his shop at 720 Sixth St. W.

The deal penned with Ticom also has spawned Faragher’s subsidiary manufacturing business, Fibre Works of Canada Ltd.

Faragher landed the contract after making inquiries to Ticom about whether or not they had a Canadian manufacturer for their product.

After a couple of visits with Ticom management, both here and in Detroit, the business ball started rolling and hasn’t stopped since with research and development opportunities with Ticom opening up as well.

“We have received our first purchase orders and that has allowed us to start developing the product,” said Faragher’s office manager, Rob Kilgour.

“The beginning of actual production will probably happen within the next month and a half [but] in the mean time we’ll start demo-ing vehicles around town so people can get a feel for what it [the topper] is all about,” he added.

The shop will produce roughly 2,000 topper units per year and Faragher expected additional employees would be hired to handle the workload.

“Probably within a year we will see more than enough resources to hire people into the company,” Kilgour agreed.

“It’s so much a matter of teamwork,” stressed Faragher of the success of his latest venture, crediting Kilgour as an important player.

The Rainy River Future Development Corporation and the Royal Bank of Canada also were driving forces behind the project, with the RRFDC approving a loan to help cover initial start-up costs for operating, materials, and equipment.

“And I cannot express how important it is to have the support of my wife, Yvonne, my kids, and my family, as well as the business leaders in the community,” Faragher remarked.

“You can follow through with your dream if you have the support to keep you going,” he said.

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