Barry Beecroft is definitely not new to town or to the Similkameen Valley. In fact, Beecroft’s birth certificate says it all – born in Princeton, B.C.. “I was born in Princeton and raised in Cawston,” stated Beecroft at his Princeton fuel distribution site in the local industrial park. The site opened on July 22 of 2011 in the industrial park at 273 David Brown Way and Beecroft has been extremely satisfied with the local support for his family owned business since his arrival.
Beecroft graduated from the Similkameen Secondary went to college spent time in Vancouver working for Eaton’s and then, moved back to the Okanagan in 1974. In ‘75 his now wife Carol came to Penticton and they soon married. Barry and Carol started a family and at the same time as Barry’s personal life was changing, he went to work for Chevron delivering fuel. When Chevron left Penticton, Beecroft bounced over to Shell where he stayed until 1997.
Taking the initiative to move on, Beecroft took a deep breath and plunged into his own independent fuel distribution business with the support of some very good friends”Doug Kenyan at Greyback Construction was very supportive, helping me find a location to set up in Penticton,” said Beecroft. “At Okanagan Falls, I already owned a key lock facility and Ray and Betty Weidemann owned W W Logging there where the facility is located. They have been very good customers and are still good customers,” Beecroft noted.
After being approached by numerous contractors in the Similkameen area, mostly in the logging community, Beecroft decided to make the move to Princeton. Princeton is his fourth facility along with one in Cawston. A good friend of his from Merritt, Graham Silvey encouraged Beecroft to make the move to Princeton and after doing some serious research, he did just that.
Barry Beecroft Fuel Distributors is a family business. Both sons have become a big part of the operation. “They started young,” said Beecroft. “I used to take them out to deliver fuel when they were still in their car seats and by the time they were twelve they were working Saturdays and summers part time.” Ryan runs the Penticton distribution centre with his dad and Blaine runs the Princeton centre.
“We have a daughter Dana,” said Beecroft.
“She graduated from UBC in languages and is now following her dream to become an actress in New York city at the school, Circle in the Square.”
Beecroft knows many people in Princeton having even played high school basketball against Mayor Randy McLean and the Montgomery boys. “I like small towns,” Beecroft stated. “I have had lots of positive feedback from my customers. It was a challenge to get set up, but I had a lot of good people to help including local contractor Stan Thompson who did a lot of excellent work for us, Okanagan Valley Petroleums out of Kelowna who set up much of the installation, and Greyback for getting my buildings ready. Everybody we worked with was really good and we are glad to be here.”
Barry Beecroft Fuel Distributors is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. This Saturday however, the Similkameen family owned company is having a special customer appreciation and grand opening. “We want our customers here to know that they are appreciated,” stated Beecroft. “The Lion’s club is coming to serve up hamburgers and hotdogs and I will be giving away prizes throughout the day.” Wine and gift certificates are amongst the prizes, but the top prize Barry wants to remain secret. “People will have to come out and see us to enter. I think it will be a neat day.”
Beecroft’s grand opening and customer appreciation day is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 24.