Family-run business pavliks.com still focusing on future in Barrie

Not every business plan is pieced together while driving across Canada in the family car. But that’s exactly how pavliks.com, one of Barrie’s highly successful tech companies, got its start.

By: Sarah Pavlik |Apr 23, 2019
This story was originally published by Simcoe.com

A special thank you to Rick Vanderlinde for meeting with pavliks.com and sharing our story.


The Pavlik Family

The Pavlik family is celebrating 50 years in business in Barrie. Ian Pavlik (front, left), founder Flory Pavlik, Sarah Pavlik (back, left), Steve Vickerage and his wife Christa Pavlik all work at pavliks.com headquarters on Bell Farm Road. - Rick Vanderlinde/Metroland

Not every business plan is pieced together while driving across Canada in the family car.

But that’s exactly how pavliks.com, one of Barrie’s highly successful tech companies, got its start.

It was the summer of 1996 and father and son were making their way back home to Barrie from Vancouver, dreaming up future plans to bring Flory Pavlik’s public relations business into the future with son Ian.

“We had this old-fashioned laptop and we plugged it into the cigarette lighter,” Flory told simcoe.com. “We were talking and writing while driving. The rule was once we found a campsite there was no more business.”

Sitting in the Bell Farm Road headquarters of pavliks.com, father and son reminisce about the how far the company has come since it was started 50 years ago in the family’s Toronto home

The FPA Group was registered on April 3, 1969, the same day Flory married Wilma.

Flory, who came to Canada from Czechoslovakia, moved the business to the family’s Daphne Crescent home in 1971. The company’s timeline shows Flory always embraced technological advances, but it wasn’t until 1996 that The Pavlik Group Inc. was incorporated, operating as pavliks.com from then on.

“We followed the plan we came up with on that road trip for the first five years,” Flory said. “We were bang on.”

The family stuck together over the years, with Ian, his wife Sarah, daughter Christa and her husband Steve Vickerage, all working in key roles at the 60-employee IT support firm.

Running a business with family isn’t always easy, but the Pavliks appear to have found the right recipe.

“It works remarkably good, and it is not a common thing when you have families involved in business. You hear some horror stories,” Ian said. “I don’t want to say that it’s all peaches and cream, but Christa and I grew up with business being part of the family.”

Although retired, Flory’s influence is very much still recognizable.

It was dad who taught his children not to mix business with pleasure, after all.

“There may be the odd five-minute business conversation when we get together with our kids at dad’s place, but other than that it’s not about business (when the family gets together),” Ian said.

Building rapport between the company's multicultural employees is also important to the company’s dynamics.

Flory said he’s most proud of the diverse workforce, which boasts 14 nationalities among its highly-skilled tech workers.

“I tell my friends this is the United Nations in here.”

Back