“Specialists in creating personalised memorials for your loved ones”

B.O.P Memorials: The Bay’s Headstone Shop

Established: 1996

Location: Tauranga

Website: http://www.bopmemorials.co.nz/

Business vision and mission: Instead of taking from life, Raymond and his team want to give back and to have a positive impact on their local community.

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Raymond McKenzie, owner of B.O.P Memorials: The Bay’s Headstone Shop started in the bricklaying trade with an apprenticeship after leaving school. Following where the trail of work led him, he and his young family ended up in Cambridge where Raymond continued in the bricklaying business until an opportunity arose to join the local monumental company. His application was successful and he was trained to become a qualified Monumental Mason.

Raymond ran the factory for 12 years before he made the decision to start his own business and he moved back to Tauranga to start his own business and to be closer to his family.

Raymond believes that it is the family’s genuine empathy, values and professionalism that set them apart from their competitors: After experiencing two family tragedies while the business was in its infancy – the death of his father after a break-in and the death of his 16-year-old son – Raymond and his family understand the grief that comes with personal loss.

The honesty behind the company is what has given them an excellent reputation with their customers, cemetery staff and councils as well.

The first challenge to establishing the business was raising the capital. Raymond worked five days a week in doing bricklaying before using his ‘free’ time in the evening and on the weekends to get their headstone business up and running.

During the early years of the business, his wife Fiona helped to carry a headstone and ruptured a disc in her spine. This resulted in costly surgery to fuse her lower back, with recovery taking upwards of 12 months. The injury also meant Fiona permanently lost 12% of her movement.

By chance, Raymond’s eldest daughter Monique returned from Australia and was able to run the office while Fiona recovered. 11 years on, Monique runs the Mt. Maunganui branch of the business.

Since the business was first established by Raymond and Fiona over 20 years ago, B.O.P Memorials: The Bays Headstone Shop, has become successful enough to now employ six permanent staff and run two offices.

Many customers have told Raymond and his staff how much their work is appreciated:

“Thank you so much, we are very happy with what you have done. We found it so easy dealing with your company & have received nothing but respect from you & we would highly recommend you to others. You have made the whole process very simple for us & nothing has been too much trouble.” – Jason and Kim

“I love it, the family loves it, the memorial is superb, beautifully done.” – Avon

“On behalf of my family & myself I would like to express our gratitude to you for all of the help & guidance you have given us throughout the entire process of getting our Dad’s headstone completed. The whole process was not stressful at all & just seemed to flow effortlessly. I will definitely have no hesitation in recommending your company to our family & friends.” – Chontel

B.O.P Memorials: The Bays Headstone Shop, uses as many local businesses as they can to keep their business operating smoothly: Elite Automotive regularly service their vehicles due to the heavy loads carried, Bayteck Systems service their compressor, Fastways Couriers are used for deliveries and granite monuments are transported by Mainfreight.
B.O.P Memorials: The Bays Headstone Shop, like to annually give their support to the Trust Power Rescue Helicopter, Local Rotary Club & various other charities. They help with fixing loose headstones, plaques and even lawnmower damage for free at their local Pyes Pa Cemetery. They also have helped the Tauranga Historical Society & The Legion of Frontiersmen J Troop (Katikati) to restore old, broken and vandalised headstones – some dating back as early as the 1890s. B.O.P Memorials: The Bays Headstone Shop, have also recently been pleased to be able to offer families a Free Babies Memorial (for infants 12 months and under) for their local Pyes Pa Cemetery.

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