Since 1949 Galt Display Rack Company has provided retailers with innovative and quality displays.

 

The President and founder, John Kostigian, built his first display in his workshop at home and delivered it to his customer on time. He enjoyed the craftsmanship it required to build a display and provided a customer with a product they desired. In entrepreneurial fashion, he decided to devote all of his time to building displays for a living.

 

By building custom displays tailored to his customers’ needs, it wasn't long before John had earned a reputation to be proud of. His creativity led him to inventing unique products for floor-covering retailers to display their merchandise in a fashionable manner. John has a long list of patents to his credentials attesting to his ability to design, create, and offer his customers superior products. John still plays an active role in the business. With a helping hand from his son, Jason, he still enjoys what he does and is proud of his accomplishments.

 

All of us at Galt Display Rack maintain that level of dedication and enthusiasm that it took John to build the company, and we enjoy providing it to you still today.

before you buy
Obituary: Big Band Leader, Businessman, Community Builder and Family Man - John Kostigian of Cambridge. Born: August 23, 1924, in Owen Sound; Died: May 10, 2017 John Kostigian had many successes in life as a business owner and community builder, but he always considered his greatest achievement to be the 30 years he spent as Leisure Lodge's house band leader. "A lot of people didn't know he had a business, that he was just a band leader," said his son Jason Kostigian, who has operated Galt Display Rack since his dad retired a decade ago. Leisure Lodge was a popular Cambridge nightclub that ran from 1948 until the place suspiciously burned to the ground in 1980. People came from far and wide to dance the night away to the swinging sounds of the Johnny Kostigian Orchestra. At its peak, the 13-piece band would play Friday and Saturday nights to an audience of 1,100 patrons, many who had traveled from across the province to this hot spot. "There was nothing like it around, it had class," Johnny once told The Record. "Leisure Lodge put Preston on the map." The self-taught trumpet, saxophone player and band leader loved every moment of performing to an appreciative audience and playing with such talented musicians. Then a beautiful lead vocalist from Hamilton named Joan Case was introduced to the band as a possible lead vocalist. "Dad was looking for a singer and ended up with a wife," said Jason of how his parents met, then married in 1954. Jason said his mom was so good she could have enjoyed a professional career beyond Leisure Lodge, but she chose to stay and raise a family with John. Jason and his sisters Carrie and Holly were never short of their father's attentions even though he was an exceptionally busy guy. The band even had is own television show from 1957 to 1958, "Sunday Serenade" on CKCO in Kitchener. John was born one of three to parents who came first to Owen Sound and later Cambridge from Armenia. Though John never wanted to visit his parent's homeland — too much pain associated with the reason the family had to flee — he always supported the Armenian community. Historians estimate the Ottoman Empire killed 1.5 million Armenians during the First World War and this legacy carried over into Canada and into the lives of people like John. Life was not easy for the immigrant family and John shone shoes as a boy to help out. He he had to leave high school in Grade 10, working a variety of odd jobs including playing trumpet in local bands. John was finally able to secure a machinist apprenticeship, a good job for a man whose talents for all things mechanical were superb. During the Second World War, John enlisted and completed basic training but the war ended before he could be shipped overseas so he returned to Cambridge. Jason said that despite many successes as a business owner and the creator of an impressive six patents for Galt Display Rack, John always considered himself somehow less than because of his interrupted schooling. Display Rack is a business specializing in making, designing and building products to show things such as carpets and flooring. "He'd say, 'But I only have Grade 10 education,'" said Jason. "But he was smart and he had that drive." Starting his own business, however, came about quite unexpectedly. A friend of John's, knowing his mechanical aptitude, asked if he'd build him some racks. "He made them in his backyard," said Jason. The racks were so good, orders started pouring in and John decided to make the leap, quit his job and go into business for himself, opening his first factory in 1953. Aside from the success of the business, John also volunteered with the Kinsmen and sat on the service club's executive plus, he was active in the Armenian-Canadian community, helping establish the Armenia Community Centre of Cambridge on International Village Drive. For John, his life was about helping anyone he could. Jason said, "Dad didn't have an angle." As a father, John was "a great guy, a real family man." Though music had been close to his heart for so long, once he stopped playing at Leisure Lodge in 1978 John left the world of music. "For Dad, that chapter of his life was over," said Jason. "He would say 'the band was the biggest part of my life.' "This is what everybody knew my dad for." John continued running the rack company well into his 80s going to work every day. Gradually he let his son take over and was happy to enjoy retirement. "Dad loved business, he loved working," said Jason. "Up until his last breath, he'd ask me 'how is the shop?' "He needed to know how things were, that everyone was happy. He didn't know how good a businessman he was." Jason spoke of his father's honesty in business, how he believed in ensuring each customer was satisfied and his uncanny knack for sourcing materials, gadgets and doodads, anything anyone needed. "This was in the days before Google," said Jason. The son also spoke of his father as so well known in the community it was impossible to walk 10 feet without an interruption. "Everyone stopped to talk to him and at one corner store, the owner would sing to him," said Jason. Apparently the man was jokingly auditioning to perform with John's band.

Galt Display Rack Company Limited

Manufacturers of Drapery and Floor Covering Fixtures

 

141 Savage Drive, Cambridge, Ontario Canada N1T 1S5

Call Toll Free: 1-800-461-3892 • Telephone: 519-623-0430