Over the last nearly 20 years, the Gray family has helped families of Prince Albert through difficult times. Gray's Funeral Chapel opened in November 1993 with a long-term view to the future ahead and a lengthy history of business operation in the community backing it up.
Drew Gray, the owner and operator of Gray's Chapel, is the third generation in his family to operate a business in Prince Albert and he credits the influence of his grandparents and his parents, friends and family in the success of his own enterprise.
Family is the Gray's difference: it is locally controlled, family owned and operated in Prince Albert. All the homes and funeral directors in Prince Albert are very professional, says Drew, But our head office is right here in Prince Albert, not in some large city.
Serving families at a stressful time is the central focus of Gray's Funeral Chapel. The staff includes 3 full-time, fully-licensed directors, plus a roster of part-time staff who can be called upon as needed. Either Drew himself or one of the other directors is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At any time, there's a licensed funeral director to talk to, he says.
The business operation is designed to respond immediately upon receiving a call from a family, and to go forward from that moment to holding a service in only 3-4 days. The role of the funeral directors and staff is to co-ordinate and arrange as much as possible and as much as the family wishes, so as to take the burden off the family at this very difficult time.
Funeral arrangements are always made through a dialogue with the family, rather than just taking orders, explains Drew. We lay out the options for them, so they can make a choice.
That choice includes cost. Any time that expense is involved, we will always offer the broadest range of cost options so that they can choose the lower cost if they wish. It's never high-pressure sales.
This way of doing business is in keeping with the family philosophy embraced by Gray's Chapel. The first priority is always service to those in a time of need and the business outlook is always toward the future.
It's an unhealthy practice, as a long-term business, to have people overspend, says Drew. If they do, they'll go home and later look at the bill and say they've spent too much and feel unhappy about the experience. We take the long-range view that we want families to feel satisfied with their experience and come back to Gray's the next time they need services.
Serving families today will maintain the success of Gray's Funeral Chapel into the future, Drew believes. We're here for the future. We knew when we opened, it would take seven to nine years to be seen as established and today, we're seen as a premiere provider of funeral services for Prince Albert and district.