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Super Vacs

2730 Iris Street Unit #2 , Ottawa, Ontario , K2C 1E6  -   Map


SuperVacs was founded in late 1978 by David Whitham. After he noticed a number of used vacuums bring thrown out Whitham, affectionately know as "Super Dave" by his customers, figured he could fix or re-furbish many if the machines and that there might be a market for them. Turns out he was right, as some 30- odd years later his son Tyler Whitham is running the shop and still providing the personal advice and service the same way his father did. "Our mottor has always been 'Don't pitch it - fix it!'," says Tyler from the small office at the back of the store located at 2730 Iris(behind IKEA) in the west end. 'We're not a high-pressure sales centre. We like to recycle as much as possible," says Tyler. "It saves the customer money and helps build the trust and loyalty that keeps people coming back." "I guess the best example if the kind of guy my dad was, is how he used to bring Zimba, our pet cougar, to the store. My mother had heard about an electrician who had this cat for a few months, but then wanted to get rid of it. She said we would take it, claws and teeth and all." "My dad built a large pen for Zimba on our property in North Gower, but he used to bring him into the store most days. Zimba would jump up to a shelf close to the ceiling in the store and rest there. Many customers came in not knowing the cat was there until they spotted a couple of paws hanging over the shelf." "Zimba never attacked anyone, but once got out of the pen at home and went next door to the neighbours. The neighbours at home at the time, a young mother and her baby, weren't too happy to see Zimba in their garage. I think that is what spurred Rideau Township to put in the exotic pet bylaw." "Then after about four years, when Zimba was maturing my father asked a biologist friend to take a look at him and give an assessment of how probable it was that Zimba could survive in the wild. My dad was told about 80 per cent, the only issue being his comfort level around humans. That he would be better off being from away from any people." "So, my father rented a plane and took Zimba way up north to a remote area and camped with him. Every day he would let Zimba run loose. Zimba came back at night for the first two days, but then didn't come back on the third and so my father came home." Tyler took over the store in 2004 and continues to operate almost as a consumer advocate for his customers. "We do alot of research so we know what to recommend. I remeber calling one manufacturer looking for a tool to fix one of their machines. The person I spoke to said 'We don't want people to fix them, we want them to throw them away.;" And no, Tyler didn't growl when finished that story. If you want to go to a place where they'll do their best to make your vacuum cleaner purr like a big cat, them is the place to be. They have a good selection of everything from Central vacs to steam cleaner and all the accessories. Purr-fect.

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    Kanata Ottawa