MurrinCo Ready Mix

Building on the Natural Resource Boom in Newfoundland
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
James Logan

As the U.S. struggles to recover from the economic downturn, its northern neighbours Newfoundland and Labrador are in the midst of an unprecedented energy and natural resource boom in oil, nickel and iron ore that is flooding the provinces with work. MurrinCo Ready Mix (MurrinCo), based in Spaniards Bay, Newfoundland, is in the center of all the action.

The Natural Resources Canada (NRC) organization estimates that there’s approximately $43 billion worth of major projects either underway or in planning phases. According to the NRC, Newfoundland and Labrador is the country’s largest producer of iron ore in Canada, followed by Quebec and British Colombia. The production of the valuable resource is concentrated in the Labrador Trough, a geographic belt extending through northern Quebec and British Columbia.

“There’s a lot going on in our neck of the woods,” reveals Glenn Murrin, co-owner and second-generation president of MurrinCo. “Before, people used to have to go to Toronto to find work, but now, these mega projects in the oil, nickel and iron ore fields are creating a massive amount of work. Because everyone is working more and making more, they don’t mind spending their money.”

As a Ready Mix concrete producer, MurrinCo has reaped the benefits of the influx of labor and workers looking to settle and build larger homes. “We’ve seen new home construction go from about 1,000 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet over the last couple of years,” admits Glenn. “Although we’re not directly involved in natural resource production, we get the spin off from employees whose bank accounts are benefiting. With the industry boom more people can live and work in Newfoundland, which in turn, brings us more business.”

Staying Local

Today MurrinCo is owned and run by Glenn and his brother Doug; their father Ray Murrin (deceased Dec. 23, 2011) began his career in 1948 at age 17 trucking sand from their existing quarry. Ray sold sand that would be mixed with salt to the government for road control and safety.

“Over time, with our own quarry, we decided to take the sand and stone we already had and mix it with cement to form Ready Mix,” Glenn says. Although Ray has passed away, Doug, Glenn and the family are dedicated to carrying out his vision, and of course, his legacy.

As MurrinCo progressed, the company acquired more crushing equipment, mixing trucks and a facility large enough to house it all. The company makes all of its own aggregates at the South River quarry and imports it directly to the plant in Spaniards Bay. “We service and sell our product locally with our own mixer trucks,” Glenn says.

MurrinCo employs approximately 20 individuals who run the mixing plant and the operations year-round. “At this point, we’re pretty much running full time; all 12 months,” shares Glenn. “We’re able to replenish our sand supply using equipment that breaks down the rock in our quarry so we’re pretty sustainable.”

Although business is booming, Glenn admits that bigger is not always better. “We want to stay local,” he says. “We prefer to stick with private clients where we’ll answer the phone in the morning, deliver to the customer during the day and hopefully get paid in the afternoon.”

A Solid 65-year Foundation

For more than six decades MurrinCo has provided its customers with solid solutions. The company supplies concrete for foundations, driveways and floors through the use of its in-house Ready Mix product. Although MurrinCo has established itself as a quality local producer, Glenn admits that the past 65 years haven’t come without a challenge or two.

“There’s always a challenging factor, be it weather, labor or costs; but its all part of the business,” he says. “The economy here is looking up, it’s booming in fact. People are building bigger and building more, so we’re very busy.”

Between a thriving local economy creating maximum opportunity for MurrinCo and a successful reputation built on 65 years of quality work, Glenn doesn’t lose sleep over much; well, except for his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs losing in the playoffs. “We also have a farm team here for the Winnipeg Jets called the St. John’s Ice Caps,” he shares. “You’ve got to love hockey.” Glenn continues to pursue his passions, from hockey to the family business. MurrinCo Ready Mix looks forward to many more years of success, riding the coattails of a local goldmine and delivering quality concrete.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Holcim Canada