Canadian Pond is a Knowlton business success story, built from scratch by the husband and wife team of Mario Paris and Christina Ishoj. A business they started 15 years ago has grown to such an extent that not only have they moved to a larger building, they are keeping the old one as well. Business is booming.
More than half its business now comes from foreign sales to the United States and Europe. Their best-selling product, which the couple invented, is a bubbling tubing, which is used in many applications, from keeping ponds aerated and open in the winter, to industrial uses such as keeping docks ice-free. The tubing is also used to protect marine life; when there is an underwater blast, a wall of the tubing absorbs the shock wave. It will be used when the old Champlain Bridge is torn down.
Canadian Pond moved into its new headquarters on Knowlton Road, the site of the old Stonehaven yard, in late May. The new building is 16,000 square feet, compared to 7,000 square feet in the old building, which they converted from an old gas station.
“The building is environmentally friendly and energy efficient, and we landscaped it with local plants, using stormwater drainage to feed the ponds,” says Christina. There is a large pond behind the building, which will showcase fountains and other equipment, and a smaller one in the front of the property.
They have one unusual habit, welcomed by customers – they answer the phone. “When you call our office, someone always answers,” says Mario.
When Mario and Christina started the business, they were the only employees. Today they employ nineteen people and are expanding. He studied biology and is a fish and wildlife technician; she has a degree specializing in the environment. The couple lives in Knowlton with their two university-aged children.