A few years ago, Innisfil brothers Simon and Owen Magill saw a need in the sports equipment and launched Boomer Hockey, multi-sport targets.
It all began just over two years ago when Owen was eight years old and Simon was 11.
“We had built a hockey rink in our basement with full plastic boards, and we were playing hockey one day with foam targets,” said Pat Magill, Simon and Owen’s father.
“We just kept breaking the targets,” added Owen. “And I asked why there aren’t any metal targets that wouldn’t be breakable.”
Simon thought Owen had a great idea and talked to Pat about making their own target made of metal.
“Pat told them he thought they had something with the idea,” said Adriana Magill, Simon and Owen’s mother.
The business got its moniker from Pat, whose nickname is 'Boomer'.
“When I played hockey at a young age, I had a strong slap shot and the parents used to call me ‘Boomer’ in the stands,” Pat explained.
The family is proud of their product and business so far.
“It’s been a lot of work, the product has evolved quite a bit,” said Pat. “We used to paint them ourselves here in our garage and apply the decals, cut and fabricate the cables, do all the packaging and labelling, send thank you cards. The whole marketing and everything, and even the shipping was done here. Now, we have the targets painted for us and they’re all powder coated and last a lot longer even though they’re steel.”
The initial goal for the family was to give the boys a sense of the business process and getting the product to market.
“They’re in six different retail stores right now and they’re marketing and learning the business,” said Pat. “It’s business school at a young age.
“We always said we’d like to see it in more retail stores while running our own online store and allowing the kids to learn a lit bit about business. Simon is just starting high school and he’s already got a really good idea of the business. He understands the hard work and what goes into it. So, what are we hoping to get out of it? I hope an experience the kids will remember forever, that’s a family experience," said Pat.
The family business has afforded the boys some unique opportunities like the chance to meet Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin, two-time Olympic gold winner Haley Irwin, and Sean Durzi of the LA Kings.
“Haley Irwin is our ambassador and Sean Durzi is using our targets—so are quite a few players from the OHL,” said Pat.
With shooting schools in the area and local hockey players using the targets, the Magill family has been overwhelmed with the local support they’ve had since the start.
“It’s been a great opportunity as a family unit, and the other thing that’s been a nice surprise for us is the amount of warmth and embrace the local community has given us,” said Adriana. “It’s been nice for the family when we’re out and someone knows us for our targets and tells us about it. It’s been fun to feel our presents grow in the local community. Everyone has just been so supportive of us.”
With how good the community has been to them; Boomer Hockey has decided to give back by getting involved with local hockey.
“One thing we did recently, was we’ve decided to sponsor the Innisfil Spartans Junior-C hockey team that’s come back to town,” said Pat. “We were at the Stroud Farmers Market with some of the team members and the boys had the targets out with a net. We wanted to show support because the community has given us so much support.”
With a customer base across North America, Boomer Hockey is now planning to take its product to Europe.
“We’d like to see what we can do there,” said Pat. “We have a lot of marketing ideas to come too.”
Learn more about Boomer Hockey at http://boomerhockey.ca.