Bastion Janitorial is the only locally owned and operated company based in Nanaimo, B.C. Partners Alex Iormetti and Tom Lozza have owned the business since 2006.
They purchased the business from the previous owner who ran it as a mobile business in a 5 ton truck since 2001. He would go see his customers where they could walk into the showroom outside their businesses and purchase products. We initially did the same thing but quickly realized it was not efficient. We then decided to lease a storefront and when Wescan Cleaning Supplies was closing down, we decided to purchase their assets and continued to manufacture their line of degreasers and make #6-1938 Northfield Road Bastion Janitorials new home.
They ran the company as an order and delivery service for 2 years then did a full renovation and opened a retail showroom for the convenience of our customers and the general public. The space gave us an additional 2000 square feet of warehouse space so we could order in volume to pass savings on to our valued customers. We carry a large inventory of cleaning solutions, disinfectants, commercial paper products and dispensing systems, janitorial supplies, garbage bags, Karcher Industrial vacuums and cleaning equipment plus much more!
Alexs background was primarily in the hospitality industry from age 12 starting as a dishwasher in Vancouver working with his mother that was the chef in an Italian restaurant on Commercial Drive. He later moved into a cooking position until he was 18.
Deciding there was more money in service he spent the next 20 years as a professional waiter in prominent establishments including Chateau Granville, the Cannery, La Crocodile, Sophie's in Gas town etc . He then did a 9 year term at Hys Masion as a VIP waiter serving some of the biggest stars and business leaders in the world.
After Hys sold out to The Macaroni Grill he moved to The Wedgewood Hotel until a major knee injury made him look to other areas of work. Most recently he worked in newspaper sales, PR for a major HR company and finally as a Certified Career Development Practitioner specializing in persons with disabilities.
Funny how life makes people adapt and grow!
Tom's life long career in the hospitality industry started at the age of 13. Tom grew up in Fernie, B.C., alongside his grandmother who gave him his cooking skills at a very young age. He was employed at the age of 15 as a short order cook at the Snow Valley Ski Resort.
Working was more important than going to school so he furthered his career into bartending and then restaurant management. At 20 he moved to Edmonton and started his life long career in hospitality with The Four Seasons Hotel. Looking for more adventure he moved to Victoria, where he worked with Delta Hotels for several years.
Still looking for more adventure off he went to Los Angeles in 1987 where he worked at Paramount studios in the craft services dept. Catering became a new passion for Tom and he started his own catering business, catering to the stars such as Ronald Reagan, Cher, Tony Bennett and many more. Tom returned to Vancouver in 1992 and took a position at The Wedgewood Hotel as a waiter where he served till 1999.
Off on another adventure to no one's surprise he landed in Campbell River and opened up a seafood restaurant called Tomeli's and after 2 years with moderate success opened his second restaurant at the Campbell River Airport called the Big Belly Deli. Feeling a bit sheltered up island, Tom sold both of his restaurants and made his final move to Nanaimo in 2004. He took a position with Tania's Restaurants as a general manager and in 2005, with partners bought out Tania's downtown location. They renamed it The Red Martini Grill and show cased local music/talent.
Tom bought Bastion Janitorial a long with Partner Alex Iormetti from a customer that was sitting at the bar complaining about how much he disliked what he was doing! Tom and Alex met in Vancouver 24 years ago while both working at The Wedgewood Hotel together and have remained friends ever since. Hence 10 years later they are still the very proud owners of Bastion Janitorial Supply.
It has taken a lot of years and a lot of hard to come this far, but they're here to stay.