My wife, Barbara and I visited Panama for the first time back in 2003 for a three-week vacation and completely fell in love with Panama, the people and all it had to offer. We both knew at that time we would one day live here. I spent the next few years researching everything I could find out about Panama all the while becoming more and more convinced that this would one day be our new home. We did continue to travel to the US and other Central American and Caribbean locations and none had the effect on us that Panama did.
When we travelled to Panama the first time we owned and operated a large design, construction management and custom millwork shop in Canada that specialized in bars, restaurants and liquor stores. We had no children, and at that point, no plans for any. We worked the business with plans to sell and one day move to the beautiful country of Panama. Wel,l life changes, and we decided after 18 years of marriage that we wanted to grow our family. About a year later we were blessed with our son, Dillon. It was not long after our son that we decided to sell off the company assets and create some more freedom in our lives. Our daughter Emma was the next miracle and our family was complete.
At this point I had a small design and construction management firm and was enjoying the business of designing and managing restaurant, pub and liquor store builds. With no staff and only a couple of contracted people working with me I found much more freedom and a renewed vigour to again pursue this dream of working and living in Panama.
In 2011 we decided it was time to get serious and make this dream a reality. We book another trip down to Panama hiring a relocation consultant in Panama to help us with the details and to see if our talents were at all transferable from a career perspective down to Panama. The consultant was great and we met with several great people in and around Panama City while getting a better idea of what it would take to move here. Although we were both very employable in Canada we found this not to be the case in Panama. It seemed for us to create an income in Panama we would need to start a company and not depend on getting a ‘job’.
Our questions now were, what company would we start and where in Panama would we want to live?
The second question became the easy one and as the second half of our trip in 2011 found us in the Chiriqui province, more specifically the David / Boquete area. We saw great business potential in this growing part of Panama along with nice schools for the kids and good existing infrastructure. We felt the trip was a success and Panama was indeed for us and we headed home with our intentions clear.
In 2012 we sold our home, bought a shipping container and started the monumental process of moving our family to a new country. With our tickets booked and our container at the ship yard the moment finally came and in late November 2012 we were Panama bound!
We settled originally in David and eventually bought a home in alto Boquete. While living in David we started looking at what we were going to do to support ourselves. With all the construction going on it seemed like a great idea to get into the residential construction business and this became our initial focus. The more research we did and the more people we talked to it became clear that the residential construction industry in Panama was very different than what we were used to. We also saw a consistent challenge facing both builders and homeowners: getting modern quality cabinets designed and built locally. We had found our niche and Pan Pacific Interiors Corp. came into existence!
In addition to cabinet design and manufacturing we decided to also fabricate our own stone counters and add a few select distribution items to what we would offer supplying vinyl plank flooring and architectural ceiling tiles to our list of products.
Our first year of business was 2014 and it was a rocky one, we had extensive delays in getting the city to upgrade the single-phase power to 3 phase and getting our new equipment shipped in from overseas and all hooked up and running. 2015 was a year of growth with 2016 seeing the creation of a satellite sales office in Boquete, a show booth at the David International Fair and new offices and a showroom at our David facility. In 2016 we also added sinks, faucets and appliances to what we offered to our clients giving them more of a one-stop shopping experience.
Pan Pacific Interiors now has an excellent client base, working on many notable projects in the David and Boquete area including Lucero Golf Club residences, pro-shop and clubhouse, Residencial el Frances sales office and show suite, Boquete Gardens, Alto Boquete Apartments and AC Homes, David development to name a few.
We offer service and quality that is unmatched in Panama with a 5 year written warranty that is the best in the industry. We are expanding our sales area with projects now successfully complete in Boca Chica, Boca. Del Tora, playa Hermosa & Las Lajas and Pedasi. We are a competitive company offering fair pricing on both large multi-unit projects and small one