The white vans of locally-owned and operated parcel delivery service Eazy Express can be seen throughout Sault Ste. Marie every weekday.
If you’re a regular online shopper receiving your parcels from Eazy Express, chances are good you’ll recognize Eazy’s Darren Robertson, who drives the company’s east end delivery route.
Darren takes time to get to know his customers.
“If you treat the people you deliver to with respect and decency you’re going to get that back. I’ve developed a rapport and relationships with people I deliver to, and it’s great,” Darren said, speaking to SooToday.
“I’ll be driving along on my route and I’ll be waving at my customers in their yards when the weather’s nice. I feel like I’m in a parade,” Darren chuckled.
“I like this job because of the people I deliver to. When I go to events downtown I’ll see some of the people I deliver to and say ‘hey, how are you doing?’ There are people from different walks of life I’ve met when I’m delivering, and if I have time for a conversation, there are a lot of things I can learn from listening to other people’s stories, how they are doing in their health. It’s the little things like that I enjoy.”
Darren not only enjoys interacting with his customers, but in many cases, their pets as well.
“I can’t forget my furry friends. I love the animals on my route. I know most of the animals on my route and they know me. Sometimes I have to actually stop my van if they’re out for a walk with their owners. I get out and have a little conversation with the dog. There are very few dogs on my route I don’t get along with,” Darren grinned.
Originally from Toronto, Darren moved north to the Sault and has worked for Eazy Express since 2012.
“It’s been an interesting time.”
“A day in the life at Eazy starts early, sorting all the parcels from Canada Post. We organize them as to how we’re going to deliver them for the day, load them on the van, go deliver them, go back to Canada Post and reload up to four times a day on heavy days,” Darren said.
“We get a lot of parcels because of online shopping...at Christmas we’ll be out there to about eight or eight-thirty at night (including Saturdays and Sundays). We’re all troopers and we give it our best.”
When not in his Eazy van, Darren thoroughly enjoys music.
“I’ve been playing guitar for over 35 years. I’ve got a number of guitars and keyboards. I write my own music, and a lot of the music I write is mainly for movie soundtracks or video game soundtracks.”
“To be doing something like what Hans Zimmer does would be fantastic, or like Danny Elfman doing movies for Tim Burton would be a dream come true.”
“I like a lot of different musical styles. I like to have a lot of guitar in my music and balance that off with string sections or a horn section, depending on the movie scene,” said Darren, who does all his recording in his home studio.
The months of August and September will also mark the second time Darren will be a committee member and a judge for The Soo’s Got Talent competition, a local talent show and ARCH fundraiser (see the event’s Facebook page for information on August and September audition dates and the Sept. 13 finale).
“I like to mentor entertainers, like a nicer Simon Cowell,” Darren laughed.
“It’s great to see little ones having the courage to show off what they do have and improve upon their talents. I like encouraging them to develop their talents and their art. Music is a big release to me, along with helping others.”
Eazy Express launched in Sault Ste. Marie in 1990 with a contract to deliver parcels for Canada Post, first concentrating locally, then expanding throughout northern Ontario in rural mail delivery and highway service.
By 1996, Eazy had formed relationships with other companies, distributing to 1,300 Avon Canada representatives in the Sault, North Bay, Sudbury and Timmins, the company with nearly 70 full-time and part-time employees by the end of the year.
By 2000, Eazy had expanded further, with rural route mail contracts in Kingston, Woodbridge, Port Colborne, Thunder Bay and Oshawa/Whitby, its highway services having expanded to Marathon, Missinabie, Kirkland Lake, Serpent River and Echo Bay. Its business relationship with Avon representatives had also expanded to London and southern Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe area.
There are approximately 10 Eazy Express drivers locally. By expanding its parcel delivery service and highway service contracts to other Canadian provinces since 2000, Eazy Express has offices in over 40 communities across Canada with over 200 full-time and part-time employees and subcontractors, truly a Sault-based, nationwide business success story.