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the early years.

Our history shapes us, influences our future and helps build our unique perspectives. This is just as true for people as it is for organizations.


We thought you might like to read about McCabe's history and so we bring you, "The Early Years as told by Jim McCabe" straight out of our Employee Handbook.

This company started on March 1st, 1981, on our kitchen table!


It wasn’t long until I graduated to the dining room, then promoted myself to the basement after some friends helped make it into an office.


Most days I would leave the house at 8:00 am and make 50 cold calls a day. I constantly challenged myself to do better, looking back on previous work to see how I could improve. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to succeed and provide for my family. Jamie, my son who now leads the company, remembers there was always time for dinner, but back to work after his bedtime.

I found the key to success and efficiency in developing a good routine. I woke up before the sun and worked out five days a week, playing marketing and sales training videos as I exercised. Three good meals a day kept my body and mind sharp, helping to reach my goal to read one business book a month. That’s an achievement I’m extremely proud of and met over many years. Imagine how many books I’ve read!


Early on, I developed a philosophy to find clients that had significant needs we could help resolve – good, wholesome people to become friends with. If we’re working this hard, let’s enjoy who we’re doing it with!


I became involved with local organizations, looking for ways to take leadership and leave a positive mark on our community. Many other people involved became wonderful clients.

My wife enjoyed her nursing career, but as the business grew I needed assistance. I showed Sandi I could pay her the same salary she was making at the hospital and she joined full-time as my first recruit. She became a very strong business partner, as well as a wonderful wife and mother to our two children.


She paid great attention to detail and asked the right questions to uncover the goals of our clients, developing friendships with them. Sandi didn’t care about how big an order was or how much she was selling; she just wanted to delight everyone. She always said her pay truly came from happy clients followed by more orders and great laughs.

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." ~Winston Churchill

With our hard work, the business became more successful. It sounds funny now, but we were actually one of the first distributors to use a fax machine! As technology evolved, we took every step to stay at the top.


The vigorous effort paid off. My vision of developing a reputation as a highly respected distributor was met when we became the first one in the industry to prove a “100% Guarantee”!


The work was creative, fast-paced, and impactful back then. It still is now. Never forget that there’s always something new to learn, someone new to meet, and a new goal to reach.

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B Corporation

McCabe Promotional is a promotional products distributor with offices across Ontario, Canada.

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