In 1961, Haskel Nathaniel founded Standard Toy Products Ltd., a toy import company. He changed the name of the company to Standard Products Import Ltd. and transitioned the business in the early 70’s to become an importer of a wide variety of products including playing cards, cutlery, luggage, running shoes, safety gloves, electrical tape, and batteries. In 1976, due to Haskel’s health issues, the company was downsized and he operated the business from his home using a public warehouse for distribution purposes.
In 1982, Haskel’s son David joined him while continuing his university studies. He was fortunate to receive a large order from Canadian Tire for electrical tape and then proceeded to expand the range to include utility grade, phasing, and splicing tapes. With this, David renamed the company Standard Products Inc. and built a network of sales agents to represent them across Canada selling to electrical wholesalers.
In 1984, David launched a range of incandescent lamps to his offering and the company moved out of the house to a 3000 sq. ft. location on Stinson Street in Montreal.
In 1986, David’s sister Katy Shebath joined the business and became integral to the future success and evolution of the business.
Unfortunately, Haskel passed away in March 1987 just as the business was beginning to secure its future success.
In 1987, David was awarded the exclusive distribution rights to Iwasaki Electric of Japan, maker of EYE brand halogen & HID lamps. Shortly after, it acquired lamp product lines from Spectro and became the exclusive supplier of Venture metal halide lamps in Canada. These were significant milestones in the company’s history that increased its credibility and positioned the company to grow rapidly and expand its product range.
In 1994, David started Stanpro Lighting Systems Inc. in order to build a competency in commercial and industrial fixtures. At first, Stanpro fixtures were marketed and sold through Standard however it was decided within a couple years that it would be better to separate the two and allow Stanpro to operate as its own independent entity. Sam Rimoin joined Stanpro in 2000 and shortly after added emergency lighting to its product portfolio. He was successful in building a substantial business over an 18-year period growing to 200 employees and operating its engineering, design, manufacturing and distribution capabilities out of a 155,000 sq. ft. building located in Dorval, Quebec.
Between 1996 to 1999, Standard added ballasts, safety-coated lamps, optics, and sockets to its range through acquisitions and distribution agreements.
In the decade between 2000 – 2010, both Standard and Stanpro transitioned from being “entrepreneurships” to becoming “enterprises”. Doing so provided them with the structure and leadership to drive their growth. They built strong and dynamic executive teams, moved into state-of-the-art buildings, implemented SAP, and embraced continuous improvement. They also began to engage more effectively in creating demand for their products in order to build value for their network of distributors.
In the late 2000’s, it became apparent that LED technology was going to have a disruptive impact on the lighting industry and especially so for lamp manufacturers. Beginning in 2010, Standard began to build a comprehensive line of LED lamps and in 2014 started developing a significant fixture offering. Simultaneously, Stanpro began transitioning their fixtures from traditional light sources to Induction technology and shortly after to LED.
Unfortunately, Katy passed away in August 2018 after battling breast cancer. She played a major role in the development of the business and her legacy continues to inspire all of those that she worked with.
In late 2018, with fixtures becoming a larger part of Standard’s sales, discussions commenced to consider the benefits of merging Standard & Stanpro together. It was decided that the combination of the two would provide strategic synergies that would position it to become one of the largest lighting companies in Canada and add capabilities to provide increased value in the marketplace. The announcement to merge was made in January 2019 and completed on January 1, 2020.
Read about us:
- Get a Grip on Lighting, a podcast with David Nathaniel
- Katy Shebath, David Nathaniel’s sister, played a critical role, alongside her brother, throughout the last 32 years of STANDARD’s journey. She remains the heart and soul of this company. Read Katy Shebath, a Kind and Thoughtful Leader that honours Katy’s memory and legacy