Scott, Shawn and Cam Robertson: Taghum team brother

The Robertson brothers: Book ‘em and Taghum

(L to R) Scott, Cam and Shawn Robertson

(L to R) Scott, Cam and Shawn Robertson are the trio of brothers who own Taghum Shell. — Photo courtesy Cam Robertson

Three brothers walk into a gas station, decide to buy it and impress their customers for the next 20 years. That’s the story of Cam, Scott and Shawn Robertson. Their consistent customer-service approach at Taghum Shell in Nelson has provided them with a loyal following of patrons who are happy to stop in, fill up, grab a bite to eat and socialize. Residents aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed the Robertson’s hard work. The franchise received an award from Shell, naming it the Number One Shell Dealer in Canada last year.

The nominator for the Robertson brothers said, “Cam and baby twin brothers Scott and Shawn Robertson joined forces 20 years ago—at 20 and 18 years of age—to purchase and operate Taghum Shell. The boys have developed a business that deserves fierce customer loyalty. If I was running out of gas while I was in town, I would purchase five dollars worth just to get me back out to Taghum so I could fill up there! Cam, Scott and Shawn are three savvy young business men who truly know the value of customer service.”

Cam Robertson fielded questions on behalf of himself and his brothers.

How did you come to choose this line of work?

In the summer of 1996, we as a family decided to go into business together. We all had just recently graduated from high school and were trying to figure out what was next. We spent the summer trying to agree on something to do. After looking at several industries, we decided the service industry was for us. We sorted through hundreds of businesses throughout western Canada and decided Nelson/Taghum Shell was where we wanted to be. We purchased Taghum in the fall of 1996 and we never looked back.

What is it about your work that has you excited to get out of bed in the morning?

The social aspect. We see different people at different stages of their day and we get to be a part of that. We know our customers and are interested in their lives beyond our transactions at the store. Truly, we consider everyone our friends. You get a real pulse of what's going on in the community when you're at work.

Where do you like to spend your downtime in the Kootenays?

We like to spend our downtime outdoors: on the lake, camping, hiking and exploring—anything that gets us outside and enjoying the Kootenays. We all have young families and where better to raise them than here? We live in such a beautiful part of the country—we want to enjoy it.

What has motivated you throughout your business journey? 

Everyone from family, friends, customers and especially each other. The three of us are all in this together. We live and work side by side everyday, challenging each other and our ideas on how we can do things better. We have been together every day for over 20 years. We listen to every idea and try to take all the advice that's presented to us. You never know where that's going to lead.

What makes the Kootenays attractive to an entrepreneur?

You could be in meetings all morning and enjoying the outdoors after lunch.

What trends have you observed in your community that might impact the local economy in the next five years? 

People touring and relocating to the Kootenays. As a hub of the community, you see hundreds of people a day. We see a lot of people who are either visiting or looking to move here from different parts of the province. With technology advancing, there is a great opportunity to relocate here. People seem to be looking to slow down a bit from the city and enjoy life. We've been here long enough to see these trends amplify. Since we moved here, we have seen tremendous growth just in our area and within the business. We couldn't keep this area a secret forever.

Did we miss anyone? Meanwhile, if you think we missed someone who should have been nominated, we’d be happy to consider them for inclusion on next year’s list. Click here to nominate your pick for the 2018 40 under 40 list.

2016 40 Under 40 List See who made the 40 Under 40 list in 2016.

Kyle Born

Kyle Born is a writer for Kootenay Business and his initials match that of the magazine—it must be fate that brought them together. View all of Kyle Born’s articles

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