Canadian Chopper will be celebrating 40 years in business in early November this year.
Daryl Letkeman was one of the business’ best customers in the early years, when it was owned by Bill Hume, who operated out of a storefront on Bridgeport Road in Richmond.
Incorporated in 1972, Hume’s original business involved selling extension fork tubes for Honda, Harley, and Kawasaki motorcycles, cashing in on the chopper craze of the day. Hume travelled the country selling tube extensions and other motorcycle pieces.
In July of 1999, Letkeman decided to quit his role as number one customer buying the business and becoming its owner instead. He remained at the Bridgeport location until 2005 before moving to a spot on Cedar Bridge Way, where he remained for five years.
The mail order portion of the business had been growing steadily, and by 2010 Letkeman realized he no longer needed to be in Richmond – at least not to run a successful business. He and wife Sandy Taylor moved to Keremeos, relocating the business to 604 – 7th Avenue where Sandy also ran the Greyhound bus depot until earlier this summer.
Letkeman now sells at both the wholesale and retail levels, to other shops and customers across Canada. Loyal customers have also followed him to Keremeos, where, after two years, he feels the move was a step in the right direction.
“It was slower last year than Richmond,” he admitted, “but everyone was slow last year. This year has been better.
It’s been a positive move – for business and other reasons,” he told the Review, “I can tell you that I’m not moving back.”