Growing up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Dave Quark was just your average energetic young boy. However, that energy eventually turned into ambition and at the age of 23, Dave moved to Winnipeg with a dream of owning his own chain of shoe stores. It took another eight years of learning the industry and getting to know customers' needs and expectations. Finally, in 1977, the first Quarks opened in Westwood Village Shopping Center. This dream was realized by scraping together $3,000 of his own money, and canvassing family and friends for the rest. Those first years were a roller coaster of ups and downs as Quarks rallied to establish itself.
In 1984 Dave welcomed his new business partner Albert Krahn. Albert was a pig-farmer and welder who sold the farm and was looking for a new venture. Together they moved the sole Quarks store into the Unicity Mall in 1985. Moving into a mall location was a risk that both hoped would help raise customer awareness of their unique collection of brands and styles.
The risk worked. Winnipeg consumers embraced the high quality of products and services that Quarks offered. From the very beginning, their pledge was "To treat customers in such a way that they will want to return often." It was 1987 when the second mall location opened. A year later Doug, Dave's eldest son, invested and came to work full time in the stores. By 1988 the third location opened, followed by the fourth in 1989 and a fifth in 1990.
In 1992, a new opportunity caught the interest of The Quark Group. Urban Trail was created to cater to the more active Manitoba customer. Doug moved from working in the Quark stores to exclusively handling the new division. As the years passed, the West Point Division was also created.
Currently there are 30 locations strategically placed throughout Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. The 18 Quarks stores continue to carry famous brand footwear such as Ugg, Merrell and Clarks. The 8 Urban Trail stores carry footwear and clothing for the active, outdoor-loving customer. West Point now has 2 Winnipeg locations and carries fashion forward shoes of high quality and value. As well, there are two combination Quarks/Urban Trail stores that carry the best of both divisions. In 1994, Dave, Albert and Doug were joined by Dave's youngest son, Tom, on the senior management team.
The Quark Group is now one of the largest privately owned shoe chains in Western Canada. Although many things have changed throughout the years, the basic philosophy hasn't. The goal of the company is to provide excellent service, and comfortable footwear that fits the way it should, looks great and wears well. The Quark Group has a selection of nationally branded footwear and pledges to continue to carry the best the world has to offer.