The History of Garaga
Founded in 1983, Garaga is one of the leading manufacturers of garage doors and overhead doors in Canada. A family-owned business, it designs and manufactures superior garage doors and the related hardware systems for the residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial markets. Garaga's products are sold throughout Canada, the United States, Central and South America.
In 1983, at the age of 26, the opportunity for Michel Gendreau to realize his dream presents itself. He discovers that he can purchase the assets of a garage door manufacturing company located in Saint-Georges, Quebec, Canada. Garaga is thus born.
Michel Gendreau pledges to offer a higher-quality product and better customer service than what exists at the time. The first product from Garaga, almost unknown until that time in Canada, is a lightly insulated aluminum garage door in a choice of six colours.
Garaga invests $1.2 million (USD) in the construction of a new plant in St-Georges.
Garaga launches its own production line for residential and commercial garage door hardware.
Garaga lands a $2.5-million contract to produce insulated panels used for thermal reinforcement of the Manic-5 hydroelectric dam in Northern Quebec. The project pushes Garaga into developing higher production standards that will later be used to meet ISO requirements.
Garaga launches its first steel doors, the Standard+ (residential) and the G‑5000 (commercial). Both doors combine galvanized steel with five coats of polyester paint and polyurethane foam insulation.
With the development of markets in Ontario, western Canada, and the U.S. Great Lakes region, Garaga opens a new 40,000 sq ft. manufacturing plant in Barrie, Ontario.
The company develops a network of distributors specializing in the sales, installation and repair of garage door systems named Garaga Experts. The goal is to provide its end users with absolute peace of mind.
Garaga is among the first garage door manufacturers to launch a fully functional website, www.garaga.com.
Garaga becomes the first manufacturer of garage doors in North America to achieve ISO 9002 certification for its manufacturing process.
As the year 2000 approaches, Garaga changes its name from Garaga Doors (2000) to Garaga Inc.
Garaga builds a new 128,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant in St-Georges to add a second production line for two new 26-gauge steel doors, the Standard+ Classic MIX and the Standard+ Classic XL.
Garaga's garage door manufacturing operations in St. Georges, QC and Barrie, ON are both certified under the 2000 version of the ISO-9001 standard. By successfully completing the transition from the ISO 9002 standard to the latest ISO 9001 standard in November 2003, Garaga reaches another milestone, demonstrating its commitment to the continuous improvement of its quality system as well as its garage door systems and services.
Garaga launches a very useful extranet tool for its dealers named GaragaNet. This system provides extended online support with quotations, orders and deliveries for its dealers who specialize in the sales, installation and repair of garage doors.
Garaga invests in new equipment at its St-Georges plant to produce the new North Hatley door, the first carriage-style steel door for its Townships Collection.
Garaga adds 30,000 sq. ft. to its Barrie plant (total: 75,000 sq. ft.) to produce the Alterna series of 24-gauge steel doors. The commercial version is the G‑8000 or the G‑8500.
Garaga launches the Eastman Estate, the first Canadian-made garage door with decorative PVC overlays.
The company celebrates its 25th anniversary (1983-2008).
A new garage door is added to the Townships Collection, named the Stratton 138.
Garaga launches the Cambridge door which blends vintage urban styling with Garaga’s highest standards for quality, energy efficiency, and durability.
The brand new, all-windowed California door and a redesigned G‑4400 door are launched. At the same time, Garaga adds the popular and trendy colour Black to its selection of colours.
Launch of the new LP elongated country-style panel designs for its North Hatley and Stratton 138 models. Along with this, the SP country-style design is added to Garaga’s Uniforce and Dualforce door lines.
Garaga presents the Triforce, an R‑10 polystyrene-insulated door, setting a new standard of efficiency in this category.
Garaga adds the Moderno Multi and Moderno 2 beads designs for its Standard+ residential door. They are ideally suited for modern and contemporary style homes.
Garaga expands its door design by adding the VOG, Prestige and Shaker (CC and XS) to the options for its Standard+ residential door. They fit not only traditional style homes but contemporary as well.
At the same time, Garaga teams up with the NOVATECHTM Group to offer entry doors and windows to coordinate with garage doors.
In the same year, Garaga expands its St-Georges, QC plant by 20,000 sq. ft.
Garaga introduces a new garage door, the Princeton, completing its Townships Collection line. As well, a new model is added for its Standard+ residential door, the Shaker XL. In addition, the new colour Chocolate Walnut is launched. All of these new products lead to the expansion of its Barrie, ON plant by 20,000 sq. ft.
Garaga acquires Mid‑America Door Co., its 1st plant in the United States. Mid‑America Door Co. is a manufacturer of non‑insulated or polystyrene (Styrofoam) insulated garage doors, which expands Garaga's product offering. Garaga's Canadian‑made products are polyurethane insulated (more airtight and energy efficient). Since Mid‑America is in Ponca City, Oklahoma, this acquisition will allow Garaga to enter the U.S. Midwest market.
Garaga expands its door design by adding the Shaker‑Modern XL to the options for its Standard+ residential door. To develop this design, Garaga teamed up with the NOVATECH Group so it would fit perfectly with its Shaker Collection entry doors. The Shaker‑Modern XL design suits the Contemporary Style as well as the more laid‑back chalet people like to create for their urban home.
Attuned to emerging trends, Garaga also has crafted a brand new colour – Iron Ore Walnut – a magnificent shade combining the richness of walnut grain with a deep iron gray. Iron Ore Walnut colour is first available for the Standard+, which offers 15 different panel designs, from traditional to carriage‑house or modern style. Iron Ore Walnut is also available in the Townships Collection.
Finally, Garaga expanded the California full‑view garage door series by adding many new frame colours and many new types of glass.
Garaga acquires North Central Door, its 2nd plant in the United States. North Central Door is a manufacturer of non-insulated and polystyrene‑insulated garage doors whose product offering is a perfect complement to Mid‑America Door's. Located in Bemidji, Minnesota, North Central Door is a modern 105,000 square foot plant with 125 employees, all of whom will keep their jobs. This second acquisition in the United States will expand Garaga's market share in the North Central part of the United States.
- Garaga is still a family business managed by the Gendreau family.
- 4 manufacturing plants: St‑Georges (148,000 sq. ft.), Barrie (115,000 sq. ft.), Bemidji, MN (109,000 sq. ft.) and Ponca City, OK (180,000 sq. ft.). There is also a distribution center in Montreal, QC.
- Over 1,200 employees dedicated to manufacturing the best products on the market.