There are many reasons that people come to live and work on the sunny shores of Tsawwassen. It might be the allure of a slower pace of small town life, the beautiful outdoors with our sandy beaches, or the great little family-owned businesses we have to offer.
But some people don't choose Tsawwassen. For some, Tsawwassen is their home town, the place where they grew up and a touchstone to everything and everyone they love.
Andrew Harvey of Pacific Advertising on 56 th Street is just such a person. His family moved to Tsawwassen in 1968 when he was just nine years old. Nearly every memory he's ever had is in some way connected to this land.
"I love Tsawwassen," says Andrew, in between serving customers at his store. "It's where I grew up, where I went to school. Everything's so close. And there's pretty much everything we need here in the town centre."
Although some people who grow up in Tsawwassen decide to move away from the community, Andrew managed to find work for a local publisher. In 1994, the printer they were using, Delta Advertising, was going out of business. Andrew decided to purchase the company and start his own printing business, named Pacific Advertising.
With a background in marketing from BCIT, it didn't take long before he expanded the business two years later to sell promotional products, such as sportswear and clothing with popular sports teams like the Vancouver Canucks, Whitecaps, BC Lions, Seattle Seahawks, among others.
Andrew also supplies many of the local sports teams with their own custom-made jerseys.
"We specialize in small quantities. So we get a lot of companies that come in and want to do twelve or fourteen shirts. There's a lot of companies out there that won't touch that kind of quantity and we do."
In 2002, he and his business partner, Carl Smith, purchased a trophy business, adding engravings and awards to their portfolio of products and services. While Andrew handles the storefront in Tsawwassen, his partner Carl works at their Tilbury warehouse, where they have their laser engraver, folder and cutters for printing, numbering machines, and wide format for printing banners and signs.
"What's really nice is the commute," says Andrew, laughing. "It's two minutes from home."
Jokes aside, living and working in the same community has many benefits apart from simply avoiding traffic.
"Having my own business here gives me the freedom to be involved in the community. I coached rugby for about twelve years at the high school. So I was able to leave a little early from work and go and coach the team and be back before the store closed."
Andrew says it also helps tremendously with word-of-mouth. Going to the bank or the grocery store means running into people that he knows and keeps Pacific Advertising on the minds of locals who want to support local businesses.
"That networking really helps your business. It just makes it so much easier. You don't have to look for business when you know you have it and you can develop these friendships with your customers."
After 50 years in Tsawwassen, it's hard to imagine Andrew deciding to leave. But I have to ask: what makes him stay?
"I grew up here. I love it because it's my town. Sure, there's a lot of great things to love about Tsawwassen, like the beaches and the fact it gets more sunshine than Vancouver. But for me, I just got into a comfort zone here. I feel great living here and working here. That's not going to change."
Pacific Advertising and Printing is located at 1346 56 Street in Tsawwassen on the east side of the street. If travelling southbound on 56th Street you can turn left on View Crescent and then turn right into the parking area by Eko-Ya Sushi.