Originally started in the 1970’s and purchased by Darren and Andrea Best in 1997, Acadia Refrigeration which is located in the beautiful rural town of Kentville, Nova Scotia is a local family owned and operated business has grown to be one of the one of the largest refrigeration companies in the Annapolis Valley specializes in refrigeration and air conditioning projects of all shapes and sizes.
No matter what the job, Acadia Refrigeration provides knowledgeable, professional and personal service for your Industrial, Residential, Commercial, Recreation, Retail or Geothermal project. Spotlight on Business Magazine spoke with Darren and Andrea Best about taking the entrepreneurial jump and turning the business in to a true family affair.
When Andrea & Darren Best took over a 25-year-old refrigeration business, they were also taking on a promise to serve long-time residential and commercial clients that Acadia Refrigeration has served for a quarter of a century.
Over the past 22 years, Darren and Andrea Best have shifted Acadia Refrigeration to fit their vision, and in the process, they have also turned the Kentville, N.S. mainstay into a family owned and operated company that is moving towards it Golden Anniversary.
“We bought this company in 1997. My husband is a technician and worked for Acadia Refrigeration for the previous owner when he first started working,” said Andrea Best. “We bought the business from the previous owners and have been running it together ever since.”
As with most people wanting to take the jump into entrepreneurialism, deciding to purchase didn’t come easily for either Darren or Andrea.
“My husband always wanted to be self-employed. It was a big decision, we had two little boys, and we went out on a limb. We chose to make it work,” she said.
“The decision ended up being a fantastic choice for our family. We work hard, we are proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve grown things.”
Now, 22 years after they purchased it, Acadia Refrigeration now employs the entire Best family.
“Our boys are grown and have come back into the fold and work here. That’s been a nice bonus for both Darren and I,” she said.
“It’s great to have our own company in the place where we grew up. Darren and I have always worked very well together. We each bring something different to the table. Darren has a keen mechanical mind and an integrity that people are drawn to. I would say I am more analytical which lends well to the roll of handling the finances and human resources.”
Best says when they first got the business, it wasn’t about changing things, but making things work for them.
“The company was well-established and was family-run before us, done by a husband-wife team as well. We just wanted to make it ours, and we came in with some fire in our belly,” she said.
“As time goes on and we consider the future of the company, we can see that changing technologies and the fact that the world is a much smaller place provides opportunities for growth. We will continue to move forward and see what happens.”
“Being a small local company in a rural area requires us to be diversified in our approach. We can’t be narrow-minded in the projects we do,” she said.
“Our work goes from residential heating and cooling all the way to industrial refrigeration. We can put a heat pump in your home, service commercial walk-in coolers for restaurants and convenience stores.”
She goes on to say, “We service recreational facilities such as ice rinks and curling clubs”
Acadia Refrigeration also provides industrial refrigeration to many industries and with the Annapolis Valley being an agriculture and farming region it should come as no surprise that they offer products and services to farmers for vegetable and fruit storage and with meat and fish productions plants and pie facilities. This includes working with natural refrigerants such as ammonia.
The Annapolis Valley is also know for its amazing wineries, craft beer brewers and cider distillers and Acadia Refrigeration have been providing custom built chillers for those in the cider, wine and beer industry which has been a great addition to their growth as a business and the economic growth of the region itself.
If you have something in mind that needs a custom design build, well that is a specialty for Acadia Refrigeration, who can provide a solution with in house engineering and technical know how and this includes working with natural refrigerants such as ammonia.
Darren and Andrea are both quick to acknowledge that they couldn’t do any of these things without the best work force around.
“Our technicians and office staff are friendly, well trained and hard-working individuals. We are very fortunate to have guys and gals who bring different skill sets to the group which allows us to be well diversified in our services.”
“We have many repeat customers, and some we have had from the beginning. We’re so grateful for this and we don’t take it for granted. They have a choice and we work hard to continue to be that choice. We are proud to have these long-term working relationships and a personal connection with our clients”
The main thing for Acadia Refrigeration, as well as Andrea and Darren, is to continue to be a positive influence within the business community and the community at large. “Being part of something that touches many aspects of life for other people, businesses and community groups is very satisfying.”
So, whether you live, work or play in it or on it in Atlantic Canada, if it needs to be cold, you need to call Acadia Refrigeration. They would be happy to hear from you promise to get the whole family involved in helping you with your project.
By Jordan Parker