"(Del) had a friend of his who at about three-quarters of the way through this home building process said: 'Gee, I really like what you're doing - would you build one for me, too?," says Ryan Ockey, son of Caryl and Del and CEO of Cardel Group of Companies.
From there, requests for their homes continued until the Ockeys were faced with a decision: go back to teaching or stick to building homes.
is now in its 40th year.
Ryan Ockey, CEO of the Cardel Group of Companies.
is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
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"It was an interesting family thing because back then we did a lot of the work ourselves," says Ryan
."I was 13 years old at the time, so I remember holding the soldering torch for my dad while he
soldered the plumbing pipes - and I remember being with my mom hammering in the nails on the cedar shakes on the roof."Cardel Homes started off doing three to five big custom homes per year.
But after the crash caused by the federal National Energy Program in the early '80s, Cardel Homes
switched to smaller, more affordable homes, which was the market at the time, says Ockey
builder took its expertise on the road in the mid-'90s, expanding to three new cities.
It started with a new office in Ottawa and later expanded to Tampa, Fla., and Denver, Colo.Ockey says the move to Ottawa came following advice from development partner, Genstar Development Co.
, which master-plans communities across Canada.
At the time, many Ottawa builders didn't use sales offices or decorate their model homes.
"In six months, we sold 40 homes," says Ockey of Cardel Homes' first step into the nation's capital, which at the time was a hot spot for growth thanks to its burgeoning technology market.
Their son Damon is corporate marketing director - and as previously mentioned, their son Ryan
"We did it because we thought it was the right thing to do," says Ockey