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Central Saanich's Butler Brothers: A concrete business plan

Travis Butler gives the participants in the 2017 Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Tour of Industry a look inside Butler Brothers’ main gravel pit in Central Saanich. - Steven Heywood
Travis Butler gives the participants in the 2017 Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Tour of Industry a look inside Butler Brothers’ main gravel pit in Central Saanich.
— image credit: Steven Heywood

With an estimated 10 years of life left in their Central Saanich gravel pit, it’s a good thing Butler Brothers Supplies — one of the region’s largest concrete and aggregate supplier — has sources elsewhere on the Island.

The fourth stop for the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Tour of Industry, Butler Bros. have been in operation in Central Saanich since the 1930s. In those days, however, they ran a variety of businesses.

Today, their main business is in gravel production, extracting, washing and crushing it into different sizes at the big open pit off Keating Cross Road. It’s also one of the sources of material for their concrete batch plant operation.

Yet, they remain a mostly family business. Leading the tour was Tony Martens (not Travis Butler, as was reported earlier), who outlined the work done in the gravel pit — from how it has grown in size over the years, to their ongoing reclamation efforts. He said that at some point, when the place is mined out, it will be leveled off, creating more land area for development along the Keating corridor.

And while the pit itself has enough resources for around a decade, Martens said they have gravel resources in the Duncan and Sooke areas that will keep them going for 30 to 40 years.

Butler Bros. employees between 78 and 100 people, with an annual payroll of approximately $3.8 to $4.5 million (depending on economic demand).

Their concrete plant is fairly busy, trucks around 14 million tonnes each year. Martens said they even poured around 24,000 tonnes of concrete for the tarmac area around the new 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron base at the Victoria airport — an example of the work they do.

 

•   •   •   •

 

On Wednesday: Our final stop on the Tour of Industry - ASL Environmental Sciences.

 

(Updated to correct the tour guide's name)

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