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Connected to Kivalliq

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Kivalliq (Mar 03/04) - A former Rankin Inlet resident is back doing business in the Kivalliq.

Jim Ramsay's company, Arctic Connection of Sandy Hook, Man., began shipping goods to the Kivalliq nine months ago.

The company ships to all seven hamlets and is growing in popularity.

Ramsay says he will deliver just about anything, including an extensive list of high-quality-meat products.

"Some people order vehicles, TVs, stereos or DVD players, while others just order food," says Ramsay.

"We've been getting about two or three new customers every week for quite a while, so I'm pretty happy with the growth we've seen."

Arctic Connection is shipping about 1,150 kilograms of frozen food to the Kivalliq every month.

Ramsay says he only deals with who he considers to be the best suppliers of baked goods, seafood, deli goods, speciality cut meats and bulk food wholesalers in Winnipeg.

He says the demand for coffee is also picking up, as are orders for homemade Ukrainian food.

"We have done some stuff for family parties and gatherings," said Ramsay.

"But the individual consumer is responsible for about 95 per cent of the orders we ship to the Kivalliq."

The Ramsays lived in Rankin for almost five years.

Ramsay says that time, and the reputation he built while there, have helped with his new endeavour.

"People know I'm going to deliver and give them the best deal I can.

"The only unfortunate part is that I don't get the same shipping rates as larger suppliers.

Volume growing

"But our volume is growing, so I hope to negotiate a better rate in the future.

"Once I can negotiate a lower rate, I will pass those savings on to my customers," said Ramsay.

Ramsay says Arctic Connection can't compete with lower-end meat products such as regular ground beef.

In order to offer Kivalliq residents a good deal, his company focuses on specialty products such as prime steak cuts, roasts and bacon wrapped filet mignon.

"To be honest, we don't want to be offering our customers low-end products.

"Our profit margin is slim on many of the orders, but that's a price we're willing to pay in order to get a larger market share in the Kivalliq.

"We're doing this with an eye to future success as we grow as a company," said Ramsay.