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Mountain Equipment Co-op

The standard in outdoor gear, cooperatively owned MEC now sells bikes.

Credit: Hilary Henegar

The standard in outdoor gear, cooperatively owned MEC now sells bikes

In October 2009, Macleans magazine listed the top 100 businesses to work for in Canada. Only one retailer appeared on the list: Mountain Equipment Co-op. Reasons cited for making the grade included: yoga onsite, showers and some great employee programs. But you can also add to the list: a climbing wall and bike room for employees at head office, green buildings made from recycled materials and stores with easy foot or transit access.

In Vancouver, the head office and Broadway retail store are both located just steps from Main Street. “We fit into this neighbourhood really well,” says public affairs manager Tim Southam. “Why? Because we are a co-op, we are a long standing Canadian company, and we provide products for people in outdoor recreation; both for urban and back country use.”

Mountain Equipment Co-op

130 West Broadway, Vancouver



Take the launch of their new-to-hit-the-market bicycles; six models are designed for use in the city and two for mountain biking. “MEC’s goal,” explains Southam, “is to encourage Canadians to cycle and to support our member’s cycling needs.”

Southam also shares the staff philosophy, “Our commitment is to provide members with quality service, and we want people to have a great in-store experience.”

Heather Lochner is a stay at home mother and a freelance writer. She loves combing the neighbourhoods of Vancouver to find locally owned shops and restaurants. Together with her two children, husband and dog, she lives aboard her sailboat in Vancouver. When not at work or school, the Lochners are out cruising the B.C. coast.