Vanico-Maronyx is a leader in the industry of all-inclusive bathroom design, and has a reputation that reflects that. Their mission is to create a variety of bathroom components – from bathtubs to showers, sinks and furniture – that fit together in perfect harmony to create a unified whole. Even today, Vanico-Maronyx continues to make advances in this concept, setting themselves further and further apart from their competitors. To do this, they draw on the experience and expertise in the industry they have developed over their 30-plus year history.
That history began in 1980, when Vanico – a manufacturing specialist, and one half of the merger that created Vanico-Maronyx – was founded under the name Créations Décor-Bois du Québec. From the very beginning, that company adopted an innovative approach to bathroom furnishing by integrating lighting, mirrors and medicine cabinets with the sink module. Meanwhile, in the same period, Maronyx was developing an expertise in the manufacture of bathroom fixtures and luxurious polymer vanity countertops.
Charles-Antoine Gauvreau is Vice-President of Sales for Vanico-Maronyx, and his father was the founder of Vanico. He recalls the beginnings of each company, when both were only selling locally inMontreal, and his father wanted a project that could penetrate additional markets. At the time, Vanico was selling kitchen fixtures as well. “When you decide to make that kind of move, you have to decide if you want to be a specialist in the kitchen, or a specialist in the bathroom,” Gauvreau says.
Because most retail stores would sell either bathroom or kitchen cabinets – but not both – and because the kitchen market was more saturated, they went with the bathroom. After making that call in 1991, the two companies combined their knowledge to develop a new line of all-inclusive furniture with innovative forms – integrating the countertop made by Maronyx with the cabinet by Vanico.
“Instead of only selling countertops and only selling cabinets, we started doing both, and coming up with new designs,” Gauvreau recounts. From then on, the two companies developed together, and at the start of the new millennium they officially merged. A couple years later, Gauvreau’s father bought the Maronyx shares and become the sole owner – until Gauvreau himself, along with two partners, bought their own shares last year.
At Vanico-Maronyx, the goal is not only to create progressive bathrooms, but highly personalized ones as well – and they have the manufacturing infrastructure that allows them to do that. In using Vanico-Maronyx, customers can edit their bathroom to suit their needs and decor. Gauvreau says there are almost limitless possibilities of styles, finishes, colors, modular layouts and sizes.
The company has a large selection of products, all created at their one manufacturing plant inMontreal. That facility has three divisions – one for cabinets, another for polymer products, and a final one for countertops. “We’re producing everything here,” Gauvreau says. “We control the deadlines, we’re scheduling everything. That’s what people like about us.”
“People don’t need to order the cabinets from one company, the countertop from another and the sinks from another one after that,” he continues. “They place one order with us. We’ll give them an expected delivery date, and it’s all going to come together in one shipment. They don’t need to deal with different suppliers, it’s all one stop shopping.”
Vanico-Maronyx’s products are sold locally inMontreal, where the company has 30 dealers placed. They also operate in the Ontario market with the same number of dealers – they started selling there in 1995, and Gauvreau says that business has really taken off.
They also have a presence in theUnited States, with roughly 125 dealers covering coast to coast. The Florida market opened in 1996, and their northeast-American operations started in 1999, and both regions have been good sellers. The west coast of America came later, in 2008, and is a market they are still developing. Finally, they have also breached the west coast ofCanadaand the market there has been on the rise for the last year and a half.
Internally, Vanico-Maronyx has roughly 85 employees, all of whom own a part of the company – so they literally feel a sense of ownership. “That makes the culture quite different than it is in many other companies,” Gauvreau explains. When it comes to being creative or cutting costs, or being more efficient, employees are proactive. “If we need some overtime, instead of saying ‘I’m not available, hire somebody else’ they are happy to help,” he says.
“When we have production meetings to help resolve situations and try to meet our production numbers, the employees are all very involved,” he adds. Every year the company shares their financial statements with their employees, and also explains them, so they can demonstrate to the employees the impact of their decisions. “When we need their support, all we need to do is explain things.”
As the company moves into the future, Gauvreau says they will be evolving with the market. Whereas five or six years ago, most of their projects were styled traditionally, these days they are contemporary and more diversified. Also, while they used to focus on the middle-to-high end of project ranges, that focus has expanded. They have recently divided their ranges into three classifications – they now have an Express, a Selection, and a higher-end Distinction range.
In general, he says their branding has been successful, and as time goes on they are becoming more and more known. That pattern will continue – over the next five years, Gauvreau estimates they will not only be known for cabinets but for bathrooms as a whole. As they expand their dealership base in Western Canada, and set their sights on entering Europe and theMiddle East, he says they will only grow more progressive and more popular.