Huron Digital Pathology broke ground earlier this summer on their new 9,700-square-foot head office and manufacturing facility on King Street North in St. Jacobs, planning to make the move early next year.
“We are looking forward to being part of a community that already has deep roots in the Waterloo Region,” said company CEO Patrick Myles. “We are excited because our products are used to help society and help fight disease, it is clean manufacturing. We can’t wait to meet our new neighbours and really be part of the community.”
Woolwich Mayor Sandy Shantz, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony, says she is excited about the new economic influencers in the township.
“They seem very excited to be a part of the community, and to be a part of the community with an emphasis on participating and contributing to it,” she said. “It is another business that is high tech and innovative in the region, and I think it just adds to a variety of industries and businesses here.”
The move came about after shareholders identified the lot in St. Jacobs as a good fit for the company’s aspirations.
“We wanted to have a certain size property. We had looked at a number of existing properties in Waterloo Region and didn’t find anything that we really wanted. Our main shareholders found this wonderful property and thought it would be a good idea to develop it,” he said.
Their current building, a 3,500-sq.-ft. facility on Parkside Drive in Waterloo, wasn’t able to accommodate Huron’s projected growth.
“Right now we are at 20 employees. We are not quite stacked too high, but we are definitely busting at the seams. This will give us added capacity because we are expecting our business to grow,” Myles said. “We need more room to hire people and more room to build up our manufacturing as our business grows.”
The new facility, almost three times in size, provides the much needed space for future expansion.
“The new building will be 9,700 square feet, we will occupy initially about two-thirds of that. It will basically be our entire operation – offices, sales and marketing, R&D and manufacturing,” he said. “We build medical devices for pathology labs, medical imaging devices. We basically do all of the design work here –we have local suppliers and international suppliers.”
Myles notes that they do all of the assembly work, testing and shipping from their current location now and will be doing the same at the new facility, but on a larger scale.
Although they are based in the region, Huron Digital Pathology is an international exporter with the majority of their business from the United States and Europe, while a smaller percentage comes from research facilities in Ontario and Quebec.
“Our main customers are hospitals and research facilities,” he said, explaining that products are used for imaging graft slides in a research facility or hospital, if a patient has a biopsy, to later study the images. “The whole work flow is changing from when the pathologist looks under the microscope, to when the images are digitized and on a computer screen.”
“Our products basically help pathologists to make better diagnosis of disease. They help to accelerate cancer research,” he noted.
Construction is set to be complete in late 2017, with the operation moving from Waterloo to the new facility in St. Jacobs early in 2018.
“We want to get in there as soon as possible,” said Myles. “We are looking forward to it.”