Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services®
Our story begins in Delta, B.C. on August 1, 1992 as Personal Alternative Funeral Services®.
At that time, the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas of British Columbia certainly did not need another funeral home… but the consumer, certainly did.
Back then, there was a rampant influx of large international funeral corporations purchasing local “Mom & Pop” owned funeral homes. This phenomenon was taking place all over North America and continues to this day.
This practice of “gobbling-up” independently owned funeral homes had a serious and immediate adverse effect for the consumer. Prices would literally double & triple overnight and hard-sell tactics employed. These large corporations trade on stock exchanges and are forced to generate exorbitant revenues for their shareholders. As a result, consumers were left with no “alternative” to the high prices.
Lawrence Little, with 21 years of experience in the funeral industry at the time, saw an opportunity to make things easier for the consumer. So, he asked himself, “what if I could provide a convenient, affordable and common-sense “alternative” to expensive typical funeral homes… especially those corporately owned?”
With months of thought and planning, Lawrence, with his long-time industry colleague Ronald Young, did just that.
Our approach to serving the consumer would be “different” than what the consumer was used to. So, we chose a name that would be “different,” on purpose. ”Personal” because the death of someone close is a “personal” event and we provide a “personal” service; and “Alternative” because we provide a convenient, affordable common-sense “alternative” to the expensive typical funeral home.
We would provide everything from a basic cremation to a complete funeral Service with burial or cremation and do so at significantly lower costs.
On Saturday, August 1, 1992 Lawrence and Ron opened our first location in Delta, B.C. We offered the consumer real choice. We would go to the family’s home to make the final arrangements, rather than a family having to make that dreaded trip to a funeral home. For services, we used community facilities such as churches, community centers, golf course clubhouses, airport hangers, hotels. You name it, we have done a service there. This allowed us to serve families throughout the entire Greater Vancouver area and Fraser Valley, right in the comfort & convenience of their own home.
In 1994, we purchased property in Langley, B.C. and built a new facility to accommodate our growth. We expanded that facility in 2007.
While we have a fully licensed funeral home and crematorium, most families choose a service in a place other than a funeral home. Since we travel to the family’s home to make the arrangements and use community facilities for services, the actual location of the funeral home becomes far less important.
Clearly our approach was welcomed as we’ve become the largest independently owned funeral home in Western Canada, in terms of the number of families we serve annually.
By the fall of 1993, our name & reputation had grown immensely, and we began receiving inquiries from funeral directors asking if we would franchise the system. Now, some 30 years later, we have 8 partner locations throughout all Western Canada.
In 2011, we rebranded our name to Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services® to reflect the many different people we serve, the changing trends in final arrangements, and the new service options we have introduced to meet consumer demand for even more personalized events.
Just as our story began, whether you require a simple, dignified cremation without a service, a Funeral Service with burial or cremation, a Graveside Service, Memorial Service, or a modern Alternatives Event™, we will work with you to create a meaningful experience that is right for you, the deceased and your circumstances.
Lawrence G. Little & Ronald B. Young,