Growing up, Mark Bloomfield wasn’t always sure he would follow in his father’s footsteps and work in the family business at Morbern. But as he got older and discovered his passion for business, he realized the family company was the perfect place to apply and cultivate his natural business acumen. Thirty years after taking on his first full-time role with the company, Bloomfield now serves as Morbern’s CEO.
We recently caught up with Bloomfield to learn more about his history with Morbern and what he thinks makes this company so special.
How long have you been with Morbern, and what were some of your roles throughout the years?
I started in 1984 as a summer student. My first job was cutting samples for testing. For the next seven summers, I worked all sorts of entry-level jobs, including painting walls one summer. After my manager questioned my painting skills, I realized I had better get an education.
I graduated McGill University in winter 1990, and started full-time at Morbern on February 3, 1991. In my first 15 years, I worked throughout the organization—production planning, R&D coordinator, sales and marketing, and information technology. In 2004 I became vice president sales and marketing. I was promoted to president in 2008, and became the chief executive officer in 2012.
Did you aspire to become part of the business? Was it challenging joining the company as a family member?
Honestly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I had finished CEGEP (a post-high school program in Quebec that all students are required for university). I was graduating with a degree in pure and applied sciences, but I was looking for variety in my career. Business seemed to offer more choice than a science-based career. There had never been any pressure to become involved in the family business, but I thought that I would enjoy the challenges of a business career. Joining the team was easy. Everyone was so nice. I never felt any dislike or conflict from the existing employees at the time because of who I was.
Do you have any memories of visiting the company as a young child?
Absolutely. Every year, we had company Christmas parties and summer barbecues. I went to these every year from the ages of 5 to 12. My children also got to continue this tradition. One summer, as a young child, my family even lived in a trailer at a local campground, so my father could spend more time at the facility.
Are there any favorite stories you like to tell about the company?
There are so many, but some are personal. The company is called Morbern because MORris Bloomfield and BERNie Stein started the company in 1965. When they needed the name, Morris won first billing in the company name because a company called Bern-more wouldn’t be a good look for a textile company.
Morbern has prepared Christmas meals for families facing economic challenges for 26 straight years, only discontinuing in 2020 due to COVID restrictions. In those years, more than 1,200 families had their Christmas holiday needs and wishes provided for—full Christmas dinner, presents for the kids and holiday staples. The workforce in Cornwall has been 100% responsible for this endeavor.