KBC Tools & Machinery Celebrates Milestones

The distributor has provided machine tools and tooling for nearly 50 years, with branches in Canada for the past 25 years.

It’s been nearly 50 years since Karel Bass founded KBC Tools and Machinery in Detroit, MI, with a simple goal: provide the best tools at the best prices to the American metalworking market. This was 1965, and at the time Karel’s young daughter Paula could not have guessed that by the age of 30 she’d be running the increasingly international family business from a new location across the border to the north.

Indeed, since establishing its first Canadian branch in Toronto in 1989 – and branches in Windsor, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia soon after – KBC has enjoyed a tremendous partnership with the Canadian metalworking industry, which it will celebrate on September 18 at its Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario.

As president Paula Bass, put it, “Our party on September 18 is an opportunity to say thank you to Canada for 25 wonderful years here. As president of this company, a resident of Toronto, and a mother of two Canadian daughters, I really appreciate how welcoming this country has been from the beginning.”

Right from the start, the company chose to invest in Canada as a base of operations, rather than parachute tools in from the U.S. through its 1,000-page Master Catalog. Bass continued, “If you’re going to do business in a country, you need to develop a direct relationship with your customers there, and we chose to do that by establishing showrooms and stocking warehouses in each Canadian branch. I am sure that our clients agree that we’ve been able to provide fast, quality service by being the metalworking supplier around the corner and throughout the country, rather than a faceless Internet company.”

So, while providing Canadian brick and mortar and jobs at its three Canadian locations, KBC also has a Canadian website that makes it easy to buy tools after hours. And for those not near a Canadian branch, the KBC online presence ensures that direct, knowledgeable sales support is just a phone call or email away.

The website also features a digital, searchable version of its Master Catalog, which boasts more than 100,000 items spanning cutting tools, carbide tooling, fluids, workholding, abrasives, measuring and inspection, tool room accessories, hand tools, shop supplies, power/air tools, and machinery – with a brand new and improved website coming soon. As Bass notes, when KBC first came to Canada it was the first company in the industry to have a priced catalog, revolutionizing the way tools are sold and the prices they sell at.

So the company is celebrating 25 years in a broad and diverse land, with a taste of Canadiana. Any KBC order placed in Canada on September 18 will include maple cookies made with real Canadian maple syrup, a special edition KBC Canada T-Shirt, massive discounts, and a chance to win $500 worth of KBC Tools by guessing the value of the tooling and machinery in the canoe on display and on the web.

And at the Toronto location where it all began, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm that day, the showroom will be transformed to a slice of Algonquin. Customers will enjoy Canadian back bacon sandwiches, bacon maple glazed donuts (veggie versions also), hobnobbing with the KBC team around the campfire in the woods, and live entertainment by Michael Schatte, one of Canada’s finest acoustic guitarists and songwriters and other treats making this a truly Canadian celebration. Grab a camping chair, tie up your canoe over by the milling machine, and settle on down around the fire for a KBC Canadian thank you.

Mark September 18 on your calendar folks: it’s when KBC thanks Canada for 25 years of tooling around in the Great White North – with many more to come!