Family Business Since 1963
Grandpa Neil began the company when he purchased our first truck in 1963 to haul firewood and sawdust. As time went on, three of his sons, Mervin, Dennis, and Reg, and his one daughter, Genny, each came to work in and expand the business. These four siblings all remain integral to the business to this day. Now a flourishing family enterprise backed by three generations of Klassens, it all started with Neil and Rita Klassen way back in 1963 on the values of faith, family, and hard work.
There are currently twenty members of the Klassen family involved in day-to-day operations. The third-generation (G3) family members each started from the ground floor or, more literally, “pushing a broom” across the pavement in our retail landscape yard and transitioned into ownership in 2019.
The Klassen Business Group now employs over 130 people, operating from primary bases of operations in Abbotsford, Merritt, and Kelowna. With members of the 4th generation beginning to enter the business, the Klassen family intends to continue to grow and evolve in business together for generations to come.
Valley Carriers (formerly Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers) is the Klassens’ original operating company, and it is still thriving today. Each year, the fleet of more than sixty trucks travels nearly 3 million kilometres, transporting wood residuals such as sawdust, bark mulch & hog fuel for use in agriculture, landscaping, and the pulp and paper industry. We have grown to also include the transportation of wood residuals from shake & shingle mills to pulp mills.
Through our wholesale division, VitaTerra, we supply bark mulch, soil, and other landscape supplies for professional growers, nurseries, and landscape centres. True to our roots, we still provide bedding material for dairy, equestrian, and poultry farming throughout the Lower Mainland, through VitaTerra.
We operate our own retail landscape supply centre and nursery in Abbotsford (Klassen Landscape Supply & Nursery) to serve both homeowners and professional landscapers. Many of these products can also be purchased through our bark mulch delivery service, Just Mulch
Through our associated company, Klassen Wood Co., we package bagged wood shavings. These bags are shipped all over the world to the US, Canada, Mexico, England, Korea, and China.
In 2015, members of the third generation joined the board of directors and assumed operational leadership, naming Travis and Ben Klassen, brothers, to the executive team.
In addition, Klassen Wood Company was formed in partnership with John-Mark Ferguson, a new, “married-in” member of the family.
In the spring of 2021, Klassen Business Group purchased Five Maples Nursery, expanding Klassen Landscape Supply into the nursery business and a full service garden centre.
In the fall of 2021, the wholesale soil & mulch division was spun out from Valley Carriers and introduced as VitaTerra. VitaTerra offers wholesale mulch and soil products for professional growers, wineries, nurseries and landscape centres.
Our strength is found in the integrity of our faith, in hope, and in love. Thankful for family heritage, our adventurous humility guides our ambition as we diligently work as a diverse team with open minded collaboration. With balanced determination, we drive change and pursue growth while respecting the past and embracing the future.
We work together, sharing responsibility and reward. We share the light, equipment, glory, and success. We encourage each other, giving recognition and praise and we honour each other’s gifts.
We’re open-minded to other ideas and thoughts. We rely on teamwork and believe in being accommodating and understanding to customers, coworkers, and suppliers. We commit to supporting each other with respect and trust.
We listen to people without judgment. We ask for feedback, and we turn negatives into positives. We give praise and pray for each other. We desire goodness and blessing for each other.
We build capacity in people and equipment (hiring and purchasing). We respect the work/life balance of our employees while maintaining an eye on the future.
We make informed changes with measured risk for the benefit of the company. We take risks and are willing to be wrong. We’re willing to trust, open-minded, and ready to learn.
With an enduring commitment to the stewardship of faith, family, and future, we serve, enrich, and empower our customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, and the community while striving to innovatively realize the potential of limitless opportunity.