Each year, OBJ recognizes the region’s rapidly growing firms with its Fastest Growing Companies awards. The aim is to honour the city’s top performers for substantial, sustainable and profitable growth. Recipients are ranked by their three-year revenue growth. They must have had revenues of at least $100,000 in the first of those three years under consideration. Revenues must have risen to at least $500,000 in their most recent fiscal year.
It was about six years ago when Stephen Bleeker’s father Hans had a stroke while vacationing in Florida – a traumatic event that ended up being a lightbulb moment for Bleeker.
“Our family was thrown into that world of caring for a parent,” Bleeker explains.
“We were fortunate enough to be able to help him out as (children) – but it made me think that if we weren’t able to do that, who would we trust and go to for help?”
Realizing many other people didn’t have that kind of family support, Bleeker and business partner Kristine McGinn started Assurance Home Care in 2015.
Assurance Home Care
The Ottawa-based firm provides services such as home care, housekeeping and meal preparation for seniors and others needing support at home. It now has customers in Toronto as well as the Ottawa region, and many of its services are partly covered by private insurance companies.
“I was looking to start a business that had a social component,” explains Bleeker, a longtime entrepreneur who’s probably best known as the former co-owner of CD Warehouse.
Bleeker says he quickly realized the business was desperately needed.
The company currently has 150 caregivers under contract and a dozen people in its management and office staff. Next month, Assurance will be expanding into the Niagara and St. Catharines regions in southern Ontario.
The company’s long-term goal is to be the most trusted name in home care in Canada – so expect to hear about it a lot more, Bleeker says.