History of Oakcrest

You can’t know anything about the Eng family business without knowing something about Henry Eng. Founder and father: Oakcrest Park Estates Ltd. is Henry’s legacy.

Born on the Saanich Peninsula, in 1925, Henry grew up in a family with eight siblings, and not much else. As a small boy in the depressed times of the 1930s, Henry started work on his family’s vegetable farm. With early roots in the family produce business, it’s not surprising that Henry went on to open his own grocery store.

Paving the way for other independent grocers on Vancouver Island, Henry and Dorothy opened the first Oakcrest Food Store in 1952, on land still owned by Oakcrest, at the corner of Quadra and Cloverdale (present day site of Thrifty Foods).

Over the years, Henry’s grocery business grew to include a chain of Oakcrest Food Stores, several warehouses and a wholesale business called Wilson Foods. Oakcrest no longer owns Wilson Foods, but the company still exists today, supplying Fairway Markets and a host of other independent stores throughout the Victoria area.

Along with a growing grocery business, Henry and Dorothy found time to grow a family: three sons—Eddie, Kenny and Bobby. They also made time to invest some of their earnings from the grocery business into real estate—property they knew would be instrumental to the future success of the family.

It turns out, they were right. In 1984, Henry and Dorothy sold off their grocery business assets to focus their efforts on real estate development. Today, after decades of shifts and changes, industrial/commercial properties are the focal point of the family business. Cultivating the seeds Henry and Dorothy planted decades ago, the company continues to grow and manage a portfolio of properties that will support the Eng family for generations to come.