THIS BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT SHINES ON
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MBRP Performance Exhaust Inc. is marking their 20th year in business with a major gift to the community. MBRP has joined the Huntsville Hospital Foundation’s Business Cares initiative, pledging $25,000 to healthcare in Huntsville.
When Ginger and Martin Barkey started MBRP 20 years ago they were working out of their garage in Burks Falls and Martin was literally going door-to-door selling his customized snowmobile muffler.
We saw the opportunity to take (exhaust components) into the snowmobiling market. Martin went knocking door-to-door with this unit that would work on maybe two sleds at the time and said this is lightweight, it adds performance and it gives it a little throatier sound. In that first year we sold 300 units. We were so excited about that.MBRP Co-owner Ginger Barkey
By year three the Barkeys had moved their business into Huntsville and in an effort to get away from the seasonality of the snowmobile market they expanded to include automotive exhaust components.
Fast forward 20 years and this thriving business is now running three shifts and employs 105 people. MBRP still sells its baseline snowmobile exhaust system and has added one for ATVs as well. That throaty exhaust system is still popular with truck owners, however, MBRP has also become well-known for the exhaust systems it builds for late-model Mustang customers who want an individualized look and sound. MBRP has also branched in the Jeep after-market, appealing to “Jeepers” who love “Jeeping”.
Ginger says their decision to make such a large contribution to the Hospital Foundation was two-fold. She says MBRP has found it challenging to find local trades people with the skills to keep up with the growth they are experiencing so, “it is vitally important to us to have resources like the hospital here and a vibrant community such as Huntsville to be able to lure people out of the chaos of the city to a wonderful lifestyle in Muskoka.”
But it’s personal too. “I love the fact that we have even a two- to four-hour wait time. It is so acceptable compared to other situations where we’ve been travelling and not had that some kind of care.”
The Barkeys don’t want to lose that.
We have taken it for granted that it is just there and it exists. The awareness that came about through conversations with people who are involved in the Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary and the Foundation was about the limiting factors of the government funding and what isn’t covered in that funding model. I think that’s one of the most misunderstood items as far as public heath care goes. Yes, we have it but in order to afford those operations we need all the hardware too, which has to be raised through public funding. That was a really big eye-opener for me.MBRP Co-owner Ginger Barkey
Ginger and Martin feel that it is vital to keep their workforce and their families happy and healthy. They encourage business leaders to donate for the same reasons they did – for the health of our community, and their employees, family and friends.