© NANCY MACPHEE/TC MEDIA
Angus and Rita MacCormack show off the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist trophy in the real estate and construction category for the Atlantic region. The couple own J. Angus MacCormack Enterprises, a family-owned company that includes two motels, 1,000 apartments and a construction company.
Angus, Rita MacCormack receive Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist trophy
SUMMERSIDE - It’s a long way from hawking hotdogs and hamburgers to owning a business that employs about 100 people.
“Everybody said it was a rags to riches story,” said Rita MacCormack. “We always thought things are going to get better.”
She was with her husband Angus, as he was recently honoured as one of the finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the real estate and construction category for the Atlantic region. He was recognized for more than 45 years in the residential real estate development and property management sectors.
“I think one of the reasons that we were nominated is because we started so humble,” said Angus.
The couple, married for 54 years, started out living in a small house in St. Eleanors with their five children and trying almost every venture to feed their family.
Now they own the profitable J. Angus MacCormack Enterprises.
“We just did it ourselves. We had no one backing us,” said Angus. “We started out growing an acre of vegetables. Things were tough, but we were young.”
Be always positive. You can’t be negative. If you do, you will never succeed. Angus MacCormack
Early in their marriage they sold hotdogs from a street cart in Peterborough, Ont., picked Irish moss, had a potato bag franchise, a chemical franchise, built and ran a store and later built two motels that they still own.
The business has branched off with their children Colleen, Kim, Cathy, Dave, John and even some of their 19 grandchildren involved.
Although semi-retired, Angus and Rita aren’t slowing down. Last year they built 29 garden homes off Summerside’s Duke Street.
They’ve had many successes and failures while learning valuable lessons along the way.
“You’ve got to love it first,” said Angus. “Be always positive. You can’t be negative. If you do, you will never succeed.”
The couple attended the awards ceremony recently in St. John’s, N.L. And although they didn’t take home the big award, they are humbled by the nomination.
“It was just overwhelming,” said Rita.