Bringing Out The Best In Your Business


By Anna Guy

Today’s customers expect an extraordinary experience when they visit a restaurant or retail establishment. To achieve this, owners know they need a construction team with the experience and expertise to turn the most complex concept into reality—BUILD IT By Design.

built-itBUILD IT does more than build retail and restaurants: they bring businesses to life. The team specializes in all aspects of the industry, from design, logistics, codes and regulations, technology, finishings, lighting, zoning, and has a track record of successful clients to go along with it.

With the retail environment being more competitive than ever before, owners go to great lengths to design innovative retail experiences that will excite and engage their consumer. Full-service general construction company firm BUILD IT By Design knows exactly what it takes to bring these visions to life. The BUILD IT team manages all aspects of a construction projects, from the design stage through construction and the final finish prior to turning it over to its clients.
What looks to the consumer like an enticing environment, to BUILD IT looks like exceeded health and safety regulations, intricate mill work, complex electrical and mechanical work. They can also go beyond that, and suggest and incorporate robotic and cognitive automation, “retailtainment” (yes, that’s entertainment + retail—a new trend), and specifications to give the consumer an exemplary experience.

Specialty Construction

For almost ten years, BUILD IT has successful completed hundreds of projects from the country’s biggest franchise chains. Founded in 2008 by Alburt Lefebvre and Simon Shahin, the award-winning team of highly skilled professionals bring experience in all disciplines of project management, supervision, estimating and permitting to every job.

BUILD IT carved out a niche for itself in the restaurant construction industry early on. “The type of construction our clients require is different from standard residential or retail store,” says Shahin. Clients—including A&W, Paramount Fine Foods, Basil Box, to name a few—depend on BUILD IT to compliment their industry leading services and branding with a retail environment.
“Food service requires more attention,” continues Shahin. “We found there was a niche for a specialist construction team who could to focus on restaurant construction. We started selling our services to Canadian franchisers, and our first main client was Extreme Brands (who owns Mucho Burrito and Extreme Pita).”

From there, “it just snowballed”, and within two years, BUILD IT had 30 projects to its credit, and has not looked back since. BUILD IT’s approach to project management has not wavered, though the designs keep getting more intricate. “The industry is pushing the limits,” says Shahin. “There are nicer finishes, and customers are really pushing the envelope with the design, intense millwork, mechanical portions, electrical portions, not only in restaurants, but retail as well.”

In-House Team

Before long, Shahin realized he would need to grow him team and, in a move that embraces continued growth and expansion of their turnkey solutions, established his own in-house subcontractor team. Says Shahin, “Our customers are buying a high-ticket item, so their expectations are high. They want their timelines met, their budgets met, quality to be top notch, and we have to deliver on all of that.”

To guarantee all of this, “We do something different,” he explains. BUILD IT manages its projects through an in-house labour force, meaning a team of 70 trusted and skilled contractors and subcontractors who work for the BUILD IT roster and continue to increase the number of completed builds year after year. “We are able to control the quality and the time lines for our projects that way because our guys don’t need to call on a subcontractor to get their employees.”

By understanding the challenges and risks that businesses face are similar across all industries, the team’s expertise in the special construction requirements has easily parlayed into other sectors, attracting new business from upscale retail and large spaces. BUILD IT’s most recent and current projects include a Henry’s camera store, Turtle Jack’s, Ride Cycle Club, Wellth Pharmacy, A&W, and three dental offices. “Our team has really been the key to our success,” says Shahin. “It’s about continuing to find the right people to continue us growing, extending our offerings into new markets, and getting the people and training on those specific types of builds. This is how we started, and this is the way we are going to continue to grow.”