He served in Korea for 5 years, and returned to marry the love of his life, Daisy Patterson. They met in 1952 and were married in 1955. They immigrated to Canada in 1958 with $500 in their pocket. Robin began his career with Menzies Gibson in sales, eventually transferred to Toronto and began working with Stuart’s Branded Foods Ltd., which was eventually acquired by Nestle. Robin was the marketing manager and came up with the brand name and logo “GoodHost Foods” and developed their Iced Tea programme.
In June of 1975, Robin decided to start his own business and he called it Danamark Ltd. Originally the idea behind the company was to provide marketing consulting services.
Dana Marketing was the basis of the name, and then it got clipped to Danamark. Robin said the reason for “Dana” was that it was easy to spell, easy to remember and it would be pronounced the same in any language.
Robin tried a number of ventures, perhaps better phrased as “adventures” before he realized that he needed to go back to his roots. Being an ex coffee man, Robin decided to get into the coffee equipment business and so Danamark became the Canadian rep. for Reynolds Coffee Equipment. Eventually we added coffee decanters, fittings to install the equipment with, cleaners to delime the equipment with, and disposal cup inserts and holders to serve the coffee in.
In 1979, Everpure Inc. came to us to be their master distributor for the foodservice, office coffee, vending and consumer markets. We quickly realized what a wonderful business water filtration was and what a fine product Everpure made, so in 1989 we decided to change the nature of our business. We got out of the coffee equipment business altogether and went head first into water filtration. Today, Danamark is the Canadian leader in innovative WaterCare solutions for most of the major restaurant chains, coffee roasters and bottled water companies in Canada.
Robin always said “You only sell the first widget, service sells the rest” This has always been and will continue to be our credo and commitment to our customers. Robin’s legacy of building a great company has touched many people because of his incredible ethics and principles. Not a day would go by that he didn’t have a philosophical saying to help us navigate the challenges of business. One of the most significant is “You live your life in your head”. He often said this to teach us that how you see a situation is a function of your thoughts and if you want to change the situation, change your thoughts and choose to see it another way. Robin also taught us that “Your word is everything”.
Robin was a wonderfully philosophical man. If you had a problem, he was an awesome person to go and talk to. You would leave the conversation realizing that your problem was not a problem at all. He helped you see it in a different way that had opportunities instead of roadblocks. He was demanding and tough as a boss but that’s because he wanted you to learn and grow and sugar coating it was a waste of time. He always said you can’t take things personally in business so here goes.
Robin officially retired from Danamark in December of 1994.
Due to a rare form of cancer, Robin passed away on Sept. 15th, 2006 in his 75th year.