Our Company History


My name is Ruan van der Walt, the President of HB’s Premium Char Imports Ltd. Our Company is family owned and operated. We are driven to bring the finest charcoal and BBQ products to North America. Our family immigrated to Canada in the early 90’s and we fell in love with this beautiful continent and made Vancouver our new home. My father (the late Hendrik van der Walt) always said that the only thing missing in Canada was a “proper” charcoal.

I remember his frustration sometimes because the charcoal here could not measure up to his standards.  It became his dream to import the same high quality charcoal that we were used to in South Africa, to North America.   In 2004 his dream became reality and the first container arrived in Canada. I remember helping with the unpacking of the container, and the delivery runs. I was the young muscle!  The lack of a support system in South Africa resulted in the postponing of his dream. He had to go back to the drawing board!

In 2015 the whole picture changed when my father reconciled with my estranged uncle (my mother’s brother), who visited us in the summer of 2015.   The two of them had the whole summer to plan the resurrection of the charcoal business.  Finally we had the support of someone in South Africa, which we needed so badly to make this business succeed. My uncle worked feverishly to find charcoal producers that produce high quality, ethical and eco-friendly charcoal.   Just about when everything started to fall in place, in the fall of 2015, my father passed away; again pausing the whole process for a while.

In the spring of 2018, two and half years later, with the support of friends and family, we finally got the opportunity to start the business again, and honour my father.  We incorporated his initials in the Company Name (HB for Hendrik Bernardus).  He did the groundwork for us; now we can build on that and fulfill his dream.

Finally, in the fall of 2018, our first two containers of quality charcoal arrived in Vancouver.  After facing many obstacles throughout a span of 10 years, we are finally there.  We are committed to make a success of the business by supplying the finest products to the North American market.