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40 years of building tomorrow, together! The SADC de Baie-des-Chaleurs has injected more than $33 million into the local economy

Maria, June 12, 2024. — The SADC de Baie-des-Chaleurs celebrated the organization’s 40th anniversary at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on June 5, 2024 at the Microbrasserie Bistro La belle aventure de Bonaventure. Since 1984, it has injected more than $33 million into businesses and projects in the region, for $233 million in spinoffs in the community.


As part of the festivities surrounding the 40th anniversary, the president of the SADC de Baie-des-Chaleurs, Charles Guérette, highlighted the implementation of a fruit tree planting project in collaboration with two community organizations in the region: the Source Alimentaire Bonavignon, in Maria, and the Collectif Aliment-Terre, in Paspébiac. Steps are also being taken for the Avignon West sector to carry out a similar project. This initiative will make it possible to plant different fruit trees in the collective and community gardens of these organizations. When mature, these trees will provide a variety of fruit to their beneficiaries. “As an SADC, our vision is to have a positive impact on the vitality of communities and the fruit tree planting project is our way of saying thank you to the community and leaving a positive legacy for years to come. In addition, we hope that this initiative will inspire others to join us and support the community ” he said.

During the year 2023-2024, more than $1.5 million was injected into the community by the organization in the three main lines of business of the SADC: financing, technical assistance to businesses and support for local economic development. Altogether one hundred and one (101) interventions were deployed and supported by the SADC team over the past year, generating economic spinoffs of more than $11.9 million.

This year concludes with the end of the five-year agreement with Canada Economic Development. In terms of funding, it is important to highlight the renewal of the agreement with our funder for a new five-year period. This agreement will bring certain new features that will have a positive impact on the development of the territory’s businesses in terms of sustainable development, succession and digital development.

While many communities in Quebec are struggling to find business successors, the Baie-des-Chaleurs region is distinguished by a succession that is generally present. “The dynamism of business successions in the Baie-des-Chaleurs has allowed us to support the transition of several organizations. In fact, 44 projects have been completed in the last 5 years, compared to 23 projects for the previous 5 years, which represents almost double the number of projects,” says Executive Director Lyne Lebrasseur, who points out that the Youth Strategy program, which supports promoters aged 39 and under in their business projects, is particularly well suited to business succession cases.

For next year’s action plan, the SADC will work to integrate environmental, social and governance issues even more fully into its policies and file analysis process. It intends to promote responsible investments while offering sustainable development support. In addition, it will offer a 13th edition of the HR Symposium which will take place on November 6. These activities will be offered in continuity with financing, support and local development actions.


The SADC over the years

The SADC de Baie-des-Chaleurs has 211 members to contribute to the development of a vision for the future of its community and thus allows the creation, consolidation and development of businesses and employment in the region. Over the past 40 years, the organization has injected more than $33 million into the regional economy, generating nearly $233 million in spinoffs in the community. Info and Membership: sadcbc.ca

The full annual report is available at sadcbc.ca, under the “Annual Report” section, under “Your SADC”.


Highlights of the year 2023-2024

  • More than 1.5 million invested
  • 23 interventions in loans ($919,549), 78 in non-repayable contributions ($588,817)
  • 30% acquisition projects
  • 136 jobs supported
  • $11.9 million in economic spinoffs
  • 211 members


– – –

Information and interview requests:

Charles Guérette, President, 418 788-5758 | charlesguerette@gmail.com

Lyne Lebrasseur, General manager, 418-759-1555, ext. 222 | llebrasseur@sadcbc.ca

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Corporation du Mont-Saint-Joseph: a Non-profit Organization Promoting a Rich Heritage

Incorporated as a non-profit organization (NPO) in 1998, the Corporation de gestion et de mise en valeur du mont Saint-Joseph, in Carleton-sur-Mer, preserves and values the cultural and natural heritage of this exceptional site. A meeting with its Director General, Olivier Côté-Vaillancourt.


In what way is the Corporation unique?

As an NPO, the Corporation is under the responsibility of a volunteer Board of Directors. According to Olivier, as an NPO, it can devote itself to its mission without being solely profit-driven. “Everything gets reinvested for social or economic development.” The site sets itself apart by offering “the highest summit in Quebec accessible by asphalted roadway. It’s interesting for the mobility aspect and to appreciate the magnificent view of the heritage that surrounds us, both historical and cultural.” Other unique attractions include mountain bike trails, unconventional accommodation, and a chapel.

How did support from the SADC help you?

In recent years, the Corporation has acquired new infrastructures such as geodomes and a reception building. In the post-pandemic period, it obtained a preferential-rate loan from the SADC to cover part of the costs. “There was an increase in the cost of materials and construction,” says Olivier. “We had to absorb these costs to complete the project.”

Tell us about a recent noteworthy achievement of which you are especially proud in the field of sustainable development. 

“We’re involved in a number of initiatives and approaches (e.g. regenerative tourism) so that in the future, we can include more and more good practices in our management and planning,” affirms Olivier. He also highlights the introduction of a shuttle service linking the campground, the beach, and the summit of the mountain seven times a day in summer. “This reduces the strain of vehicles both in the city and on the mountain.”

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting up a business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region?

“Listen to the community, get involved in your community and try to form partnerships,” says Olivier. To maximize the chances of success, he believes that the proposed offer must meet a genuine need in the community.


About the Corporation

The Corporation ensures the sustainability and development of the Mont-Saint-Joseph Regional Park. Highlights include hiking and mountain biking trails, geodomes and aiguilles (small chalets), a heritage chapel and lookouts at an altitude of 555 metres offering spectacular views of the Baie-des-Chaleurs.

Mécanique SL Plus – Business Portrait

Sébastien Bernard and Louis Parent acquired the Point S Garage in Nouvelle, in February 2022. Already co-owners of the neighbouring Transport Philippe Day enterprise, they saw a unique chance to complement both businesses. A meeting with both partners about the garage, which was re-named Mécanique SL and which obtained support from the Baie-des-Chaleurs SADC.

A Thumbnail Sketch of the Enterprise

Mécanique SL features automobile mechanical work, tire sales and installation, trailer repair, automobile esthetics and air conditioning repair. The business also sells heavy truck parts in a department which will be expanding shortly.

In What Way is your Business Unique?
Mécanique SL is distinguished by the quality and efficiency of its service and the courtesy of its staff, a comment which is often mentioned. Its clientele feels confident about doing business with Mécanique SL. “I often give advice or explanations to persons who come to see me, even by phone”! mentioned Louis, who has 13 years of experience as a heavy equipment mechanic. Its clientele also appreciates the various means available to contact garage staff members, including text messages.

Why did You Choose to be in Business?
When Transport Philippe Day was put up for sale, Sébastien and Louis, who were working there, seized the opportunity to purchase it. Both partners wanted the business to remain in the region. “This is important to us” said Sébastien. I’ve been here for 30 years and I wanted it to continue!” When they heard that the Point S garage was going to close, they also wanted to purchase it. “Slowly but surely we noted an increase in parts sales at Philippe Day. We planned on enlarging the business,” mentioned Louis. The partners finally decided to purchase the Point S garage. “It would remain local and it would allow us to undertake other ventures,” said Sébastien. This was “a great opportunity to maintain mechanical services and parts sales” added Louis.

How did Support From the SADC Help You?
“Very important financial support. We had a great helping hand and support” affirmed Sébastien. “If there’s a problem, we can call them at any time. No matter what the problem may be, we talk from time to time and they remind us of their services. They can contribute to the expansion of the business.”

Tell us About a Noteworthy Achievement of Which You are Especially Proud as a Business Person Regarding Sustainable Development.

For now, Mécanique SL participates by buying locally. “We really encourage local businesses a lot” says Sébastien. This is “scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours:” “By encouraging local businesses, in turn they come to our garage” he added. The business also disposes of waste material according to standards in force. In addition, it is getting ready to train its mechanics for electric vehicles.

What Advice Would You Give to Anyone Who is Considering Starting up a Business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs Region?
“Partner with the right persons, such as the SADC” mentioned Sébastien. “Sometimes people hesitate to call on organizations we have locally. There are a lot of things that people don’t know about the services they have!” According to him, you have to be deeply involved in a business to ensure its success. “You have to have a good state of mind, try to understand people and actively listen.”

About the Co-owners
Sébastien Bernard began working at Transport Philippe Day as a trucker and then as a dispatcher and finally general director. Louis Parent has 13 years of experience as a heavy equipment mechanic, including 10 years at Transport Philippe Day.

Gasse Électrique inc. – Business Portrait

Antoni Gasse founded Gasse Électrique inc. in 2018, at Nouvelle. Justin Simoneau, who joined the team in 2020, quickly showed his mettle and has become a co-owner in the beginning of 2023. A meeting with Antoni and Justin about the business, which obtained support from the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Business

Gasse Électrique inc. features a broad variety of electrical services, whether for construction projects, residential, commercial or industrial renovation. Employing nine persons, the business has electricians in Bonaventure, Maria, Carleton-sur-Mer and Nouvelle. It is poised to quickly meet the needs of its clientele within the area it serves, from Matapédia to Paspébiac.

In What Way is your Business Unique?

“As far as efficiency is concerned” affirmed Justin. We have a good operational structure which allows us to serve our clients well. We can meet their needs rapidly.” According to Antoni, Gasse Électrique inc. is also outstanding due to its young and dynamic team plus another important asset: “We do not lack manpower. Employees come to us and don’t see why they should leave. Quality of life is essential for us and we are very flexible. Our vision is to have the right persons for the right job.”

Why did You Choose to be in Business?

Antoni worked as an electrician outside of Quebec, where he managed large construction sites and work teams. He enjoyed doing this. He then came back. “I’m a Gaspesian through and through and my goal is to remain in the region.” He also wanted to remain with his family. “After working for a local company, I decided to make the leap myself. I saw that as a challenge.” Justin was hired by Gasse Électrique inc. in 2020 as an electrician. After some time, he wanted to become more involved in the business. “There is a management side to me. I like to discover opportunities, to see how to be more efficient and proactive. I told Antoni that I could take care of these aspects.” This is how they became partners. “Antoni is a guy from Nouvelle, who knows everybody. I’m from the outside and I am objective. Things fitted in just right because of this merging!”

How did Support From the SADC Help You?

Antoni had a loan from the SADC Youth Strategy Program to purchase a building with office space and a garage to store the equipment. “The building is a great advantage, underlined Justin. We can have an inventory. That make us much more efficient.” The business also obtained financing from the SADC for accounting support to optimize its management model. This support allowed Gasse Électrique inc. to have a dashboard and to reorganize its administration.

Tell us About a Noteworthy Achievement of Which You are Especially Proud as a Businessperson.

“Just having gone through the pandemic is a victory in itself!” mentioned Antoni. “We were not as financially sound as we are now.” Antoni and Justin said that they are very proud of the subsequent growth of the business! “Over the last two years now, we managed to hire good employees and we completed our partnership” said Justin. “We purchased two additional service vehicles and hired an extraordinary administrative assistant. We concluded structuring business partnerships. The company, which has grown, has allowed us to obtain interesting and stimulating contracts.”

What Advice Would You Give to Anyone Who is Considering Starting up a Business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs Region?

“Partner with someone who comes from here” said Justin, laughing. Originally from Quebec City, he appreciates being in business with someone from the area who knows everyone. On the other hand, he has an external viewpoint which is a complement to a local viewpoint. More seriously however, according to him, to embark in a business, you have to know how to delve into it, you “need a head on your shoulders and you have to take good advice.” He added that quality and painstaking attention to detail are especially important in a small area. “There is extra pressure because of that.” He also recommends focussing on satisfied persons. “They are the ones who’ll call you back!”



About Antoni Gasse and Justin Simoneau

A master electrician, Antoni Gasse founded Gasse Électrique inc., in Nouvelle, in 2018. Hired by a company as an electrician in the beginning of 2020, Justin Simoneau officially became a partner in February 2023.

Ford and Subaru New Richmond – Business Portrait

Co-owner of Subaru New Richmond since 2010, René Leblanc has also acquired Ford New Richmond with Adam and André Leblanc (his brothers) and Matthew O’Reilly in 2018. Together, they undertook major enlargement work for the Subaru dealership and the construction of a new building for Ford. A meeting with René about these businesses, which recently received support from the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Businesses

Ford and Subaru New Richmond feature a broad range of new and previously-owned vehicles. Whether in the sales department, the after-sales service department or in the maintenance department, their teams ensure a warm welcome and personalized service. Both businesses are sure to meet the needs of purchasers and owners of Ford and Subaru vehicles in the Gaspésie region, while having a young and dynamic approach to customer experience. There is a total of 27 members in their combined teams.

In What Way are your Businesses Unique?

“We are different due to the family approach we have as owners-occupiers,” says René. He and his partners try to give their businesses a human and personalized aspect and they want their businesses to stay open in the coming years. “We are locals and we are not afraid of letting our roots grow here. We are involved in all kinds of endeavours. We are a local business that participates in development initiatives.”

Why did You Choose to be in Business?

“I became involved in business when I was 21 years old, said René. (. . .) I was doing a bachelor degree in kinesiology. My brother Adam was a mechanic in Quebec City.” Adam proposed to René to purchase a “garage” together. After mulling it about, René, who was always enthused about automobiles, decided to go along. “If we’re there today, its because Peter [Cyr, the owner of Subaru at that time] decided to sell to two youngsters. He saw us as succeeding him and showed us the ins and outs.”

How did Support From the SADC Help You?

“The SADC was always there for each project!” said René, who specified that on several occasions he and his partners obtained financing from the Investment Fund and from the Stratégie jeunesse program for both their businesses. “But the greatest support from the SADC was not monetary, it was infusing confidence in this project.” René underlined that once SADC support was ensured, “the other partners got on board” more easily.

Tell us about a noteworthy achievement of which you are especially proud as an entrepreneur.

 “Our Ford plan,” said René, referring to the building erected in 2021. According to him, everything was thought out by the four partners: the site, lighting, walking distance inside the building, etc. “We visited several buildings and we sat down at the design table. We thought out the plan, worked on it and designed it so well that Ford bought it from us and it is now a prototype for a type D dealership.” According to René, for dealerships with an annual sales volume similar to Ford New Richmond, “this is the frame that’s going to be used throughout the world!”

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting up a business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region?

“Ask yourself if that’s really what you want to do, and if so, do it!” affirmed René.  “I always considered that the coolest place to open a business was in the Gaspésie region. There’s so much to do! You don’t even have to reinvent the wheel.” He did specify however that being in business was not for everyone. It’s demanding and you have to really devote yourself. According to him, what is required is “an unconditional love of what you’re doing.”



About the Owners

René Leblanc, Adam Leblanc and Matthew O’Reilly are the owners of Ford New Richmond since 2010. In 2016, André Leblanc joined the team. He enhanced used car sales and then became a shareholder. The four partners subsequently acquired Ford New Richmond in 2018.

Microbrasserie La belle aventure – Business Portrait

When opening their microbrewery La belle aventure in August 2022, three young Gaspesians wanted to give Bonaventure a festive and meeting location, combining a bistro-bar, a restaurant and an events location. A meeting with Sébastien Cayouette, co-owner, about this microbrewery which obtained support from the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Business

Established by three young Gaspesians, Marc-Olivier Forest-Poirier, Sébastien Cayouette and Marie-Pier Dion, the Microbrasserie La belle aventure is a festive location where people like to gather. It offers five classic beers – blond beer (a lager), red beer, white beer, IPA and stout. Season beers boasting local tastes are added from time to time. Its bistro-bar showcases regional products (smoked salmon, salsa, cold cuts . . .) Gaspesian liquor, strawberry and rhubarb wines from the Ferme Bourdages Tradition..

In What Way is your Business Unique?

According to Sébastien, the microbrewery stands out first of all by the various aspects it features, by combining the production and marketing of its beers, the events aspect and the bistro-bar. “There is a different ambiance at the bistro, something that was not in Bonaventure and the area. This is a festive gathering place!” According to him, the beers brewed by La belle aventure are distinguished by their quality, the local ingredients which are advantageously used, and their accessibility. “Blond and white beers are sure to please everyone who wants to taste microbrewery beer for the first time.”

Why Have You Chosen to be an Entrepreneur? 

“I always knew that I would be an entrepreneur” said Sébastien, who studied administration. “I didn’t know in what field, but I always had this project in mind.” Fond of beer, he and his partners wanted to have a project dealing with this common passion. “During our trips, we always visited microbreweries. We liked the atmosphere they would give to a village. So we said to each other: why not bring this home to Bonaventure? We wanted to create everything by ourselves, from A to Z, something that would be true to us and which would suffuse life into Bonaventure.”

How did Support From the SADC Help You?

La belle aventure obtained a loan from the SADC investment fund. Sébastien underlined the fact that he had obtained advantageous loans in his Stratégie jeunesse (Youth Strategy) program. “They got on board the project right away! They were the first to accept it and were always very flexible in their loans and conditions. They are very proactive. It’s easy to work with them.”

Tell Us About a Noteworthy Achievement of Which You Are Especially Proud as an Entrepreneur (for Example, in Sustainable Development)

This winter, La belle aventure will market its beers in cans. They will be sold on site at the bistro and in grocery stores, deps and in specialized businesses in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region. “In one year, we will be targeting the Gaspésie region,” proudly mentioned Sébastien. On the other hand, to enhance its residual materials, the Microbrasserie gives its beer production residue to the Ferme Le Caprivore, which uses it to nourish its animals. La belle aventure also experiments with local products. “It’s important for us to enhance local products,” specified Sébastien. Last summer, the microbrewery’s seasonal beer was developed with haskap berries from the Verger Cambrook in Bonaventure. Tests will also be conducted shortly with coffee roasted in the Gaspésie region.

What Advice Would You Give to Anyone Who is Considering Starting Up a Business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs Region?

“Persevere” said Sébastien. “Not listen to people who try to discourage you. If you believe in your idea, you’ve got to do it!” He said that he and his partners dealt with various obstacles during the development of their project, from 2019 to 2022, right in the middle of the pandemic. “In three years, we often told each other that the project would not go through.” According to him, when there are challenges, you mustn’t stop but rather “find innovative ways to deal with them.”


About the location

Marc-Olivier Forest-Poirier, Sébastien Cayouette and Marie-Pier Dion purchased the former restaurant Rendez-vous in the heart of Bonaventure in 2020, to install their bistro-bar. Their beer production is located in a brand new building in the back.

Caprices de cuisine – Business Portrait

Mélissa Vaillancourt took charge of Caprices de cuisine in July 2021. Since then, she is working on diversifying services and products, from the design to the finished product, and betting on customer service. A meeting with Mélissa about her business, which obtained support from the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Business

Caprices de cuisine is a family business that features a large variety of kitchen products (dishware, glassware, cutlery, table linen . . .), bar and cocktail accessories, articles and food preparation and cooking devices, food products and even more. Intending to broaden her product offering even more, she has a service counter for Armoires Distinction. Caprices de cuisine attracts clients from all over the Gaspé region, from Rimouski and even New Brunswick.

In What Way is your Business Unique?

“We only deal with kitchen products and we have a broad price range, including top-end products and lower budgeted ones to meet all needs” said Mélissa. “We also managed to have local artisans make accessories specifically for kitchens.” Among others, the business features FishNship aprons – the Catherine Côté and Lise Hudon workshops, cloth dish covers, lunch bags and napkins from La Découpe and wooden products (spoons, bread knives) from local artisans. It also features local food products such as chocolate from Chaleur B Chocolat and goodies from Chocolaterie & Confiserie Linda.

Why Have You Chosen to be an Entrepreneur? 

“I have been in business since I was young, as I was a co-owner of several restaurants” explained Mélissa. “In this case, I wanted to meet a challenge alone, to build something different than a restaurant and I was given this opportunity.” For her, retail sales was a wonderful challenge to meet.

How did Support From the SADC Help You?

Mélissa was part of the SADC Youth Strategy Program for the purchase of her business. With this Program, she obtained a loan at a competitive interest rate. She also received a subsidy and a loan from the Avignon RCM. This combined financial assistance gave her a great advantage: “I did not have to take out a personal loan.” She added: “I also had salary support during the first year [thanks to the Self-Employed Support Program offered by the RCM and Emploi-Québec].”

Tell Us About a Noteworthy Achievement of Which You Are Especially Proud as an Entrepreneur.

“Since two weeks now we have an on-line store”, Mélissa proudly mentioned. My right-hand man Steven Couture [her eldest son] and myself got it up and running. We’re still working on it. Up to now, there are 400 products.” The businesswoman is also very proud of the involvement of her three children in the store and for the customer service work performed with the Gaspesian firm of Audace.

What Advice Would You Give to Anyone Who is Considering Starting Up a Business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs Region?

“Go right ahead!” said Mélissa unhesitatingly. “We are often stopped. People tell us to go easy, to let things happen by themselves, but you have to forge ahead! Determination changes everything in what we’re trying to build. You have to believe in yourself and not get worried about what people say. Confidence is your best tool.”



About Mélissa Vaillancourt

Having worked some 20 years in management positions for Subway, Mélissa was in charge of the implementation of the operational setup of each restaurant and for human resources management. Since July 2021, she is brilliantly meeting the challenge of operating a retail store: Caprices de cuisine.

ÈST éco-cabines – Business Portrait

ÈST éco-cabines opened for business in July 2021 in Miguasha to feature quite a new glamping experience in the region. Six months later, a thermal spa was added to its offering. A meeting with Louise Landry, co-owner, about this business which obtained support from the SADC of the Baie-des-Chaleurs.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Business

Founded by Louise Landry and Maxime Leclerc, ÈST éco-cabines is a glamping business. Six cabins (thuya) are built in a dense and mature cedar forest, while two cabins (Ublo) are perched on a cliff with a view on the Baie des Chaleurs. The business also features a thermal spa which is available with or without lodging. It features a dry sauna, a Hamman, two hot and cold tubs and two relaxation zones (indoors and outdoors). A self-service welcoming area is in the main building, along with three spacious private bathrooms having large showers and heated floors.

In What Way is your Business Unique?

“By being near to nature with exceptional comfort” mentioned Louise. Glamping in cabins is also distinctive in itself. “This is a new offering which is not found elsewhere in the region.” The business also wanted to feature a self-service welcome desk without compromising on client service. “Everything is thought out to allow the client to be independent on-site and not depend on a reception desk.” For example, the business sends the client the cabin number and the access code by text message and a firewood distributing machine is available. “This is a more streamlined experience.”

Why Have You Chosen to be an Entrepreneur? 

“This career came to me and I seized the opportunity!” said Louise. With a Master’s degree in sociology, she recently became a process optimization consultant. “This is when I began to master corporate management.” Maxime, who is the co-owner of GROOM, a business marketing personal care products for men, was also working as a soundman. In August 2020, when the couple was vacationing in the region, they visited land for sale in Miguasha. “This was an opportunity we had. It wasn’t planned at all. We had a tremendous crush!” Stimulated by the idea of operating a glamping outfit in that location, the couple submitted its business plan to financers four months later and everything became reality in the summer of 2021.

How did Support From the SADC Help You?

“We had financial support with the Youth Strategy Fund and a regular loan,” mentioned Louise. “This was a $1.5 million project. We needed seed capital to start up.” She also underlined the support given by an SADC business counsellor, Vanessa Ratté. “We received a lot of advice and discussed matters with her to check on weaknesses in the business plan. She really gave us support during the start up.”

Tell Us About a Recent Noteworthy Achievement of Which You Are Especially Proud as an Entrepreneur.

Louise mentioned the environmentally friendly aspect of the business. “When we had the eco-cabins built, it was clear to us that we would cut as few trees as possible in our cedar grove. We selected each tree. We made an ecological choice.” In addition, there is no septic tank on-site. “We installed odourless, electrical compost toilets.” Lastly, wood, which is a long-lasting material, was used to build the units.

What Advice Would You Give to Anyone Who is Considering Starting Up a Business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs Region?

“Do it, have confidence in yourself!” burst out Louise. According to her, the region has a great entrepreneurial potential which is untapped. “The world remains to be built, there’s room for that.” She reminded persons who are afraid to be go-getters that they are not alone. “We had numerous partners who supported us, such as the SADC, the Avignon MRC, Investissement Québec and Economic Development Canada. There are all kinds of resources. You are less likely to delve into the great unknown when partners are there to support and help you.”



About Maxime Leclerc and Louise Landry

Originally respectively from Sainte-Foy and Carleton-sur-Mer, Maxime Leclerc and Louise Landry escaped life in Montreal to found ÈST éco-cabines. Maxime works there as director of operations, while Louise is the administration and financial director. They are also the happy parents of a boy born in the Gaspésie region in 2021.

M.J. Brière – Business Portrait

Garage M.J. Brière in Caplan, inaugurated its new building last June. Following the completion of this major project, Alexandre Bujold, a sales advisor and future owner of the business, is now concentrating on succession planning with his mother, Manon Brière. A meeting with Alexandre about the business, which obtained support from the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Business

M.J. Brière Inc. features a wide range of new and used Kubota products. In addition to selling all kinds of equipment (tractors, lawn mowers, utility vehicles, excavators, loaders and agricultural machinery), maintenance kits, parts and accessories, the business also features maintenance and repair services for Kubota products.

In What Way is your Business Unique?

“Customer service and after sales service” answered spontaneously Alexandre. “We are a family business in operation since nearly 50 years!” Staff at M.J. Brière takes the time to help clients select the right equipment and gives them advice on daily issues. “There are no pressure sales. We welcome clients as family members. In the Gaspésie region, we do our grocery shopping with our clients. Mutual respect has developed.”

Why Have You Chosen to be an Entrepreneur? 

As a son of business persons, Alexandre wanted to be an entrepreneur for the freedom it entails. “When I was younger I always worked for my family.” When he was 18 he wanted to have different work experiences outside of the region. “I wanted to see what the world had to offer to me” he explained. “I always did a little more than the boss asked. I took my work to heart. That was in my DNA, and that’s how I grew up.” In 2013, I decided to come back to the Gaspésie region. “I knew that was where I was going to settle down and live my life.” It was also obvious for him that he would continue to work with the public. “I love it! I like the challenges it involves.”

How did Support From the SADC Help You?

“Support from A to Z! Help, listening and advice” mentioned Alexandre referring to the new building project that was inaugurated in June 2022.  “When we undertook research before starting the building project, doors were closing everywhere [due to the pandemic].” He underlined the fact that the SADC assisted M.J. Brière with its business plan and financing, namely by advising it about who to call on. “Doing our new branding also helped us a lot.”

Tell us about a recent noteworthy achievement of which you are especially proud as an entrepreneur.

The new building is obviously a major achievement over the last months. With its construction, M.J. Brière wanted to jump start other sectors of the business. “There is a new website and a new phone answering system” said Alexandre. “We redid the garage hierarchy from A to Z!” The disposition of the facilities was also redone. “When walking into the garage, you can see that there is more fluidity, even for service.”

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting up a business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region?

“Take care of one’s clients” says Alexandre. He underlined the fact that we must always keep in mind proximity with clients in small localities. “In the Gaspésie region, a satisfied client will tell five persons about it, but an unsatisfied client will tell the whole village!”  According to him, you have to always be attentive to clients. “They are the ones who make the business prosper. At times this may be contrary to your ideas, but you can always find that little something that will make your business thrive.”



About Alexandre Bujold

Working for the family business since 2013, Alexandre Bujold is now undertaking a business succession planning process. Founded by his grandfather Magella Brière in 1974, the business is now owned by his mother Manon Brière.


Distillerie des Marigots – Business Portrait

Joseph St-Denis Boulanger and his spouse, Laurie-Anne Cloutier, founded the Distillerie des Marigots in Caplan in 2019. Since it was introduced at the end of 2020, their gin, called Récif, has received impressive honours internationally. A meeting with Joseph regarding entrepreneurship and the Distillerie, for which the SADC de Baie des Chaleurs gave support.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Business

The Distillerie des Marigots features spirits which are outstanding with their refined aspect and their rich taste which is typical of Gaspesian regional products. In addition to its flagship product, the Récif gin, the Distillerie has added small experimental batches, such as the Série exploratoire (exploratory series).

In What Way is your Business Unique?

“We stand out by featuring tastes found in the Gaspésie region, with no compromises,” affirmed Joseph. The richness of aromas is very important, as well as the quality of ingredients and equipment used. There is no compromise as far as quality is concerned.” The Distillerie also offers exclusive products to visitors, such as certain ones which are only sold on site. The general public can also be a witness to these activities. “There is proximity to the reality of distillation.”

Why Have You Chosen to be an Entrepreneur?  

According to Joseph, “I’ve been an entrepreneur since a long time ago. At the age of 12 I used to sell hiking poles in the Signature Gaspésie network!” When he was in Secondary 5, he already wanted to be an entrepreneur and he studied engineering just to become an entrepreneur.” I like to create something that will last and to invest my time and energy in something of my own.”

How did Support From the SADC Help You?

The Distillerie obtained a loan from the SADC investment fund. To start up the business, Joseph and Laurie-Anne both took out loans from the Stratégie jeunesse (Youth Strategy) fund. Joseph also underlined the fact that he was given much good advice from the SADC team members. “They gave me their impressions and recommendations to improve the business plan.”

Tell us about a recent noteworthy achievement of which you are especially proud as an entrepreneur (ex.: in the field of sustainable development). 

“We re-use stale-dated beer from the Naufrageur to upgrade it into whiskey. We also implemented a bottle recovery system. We have now collected 500!”  Joseph constantly tries to seek opportunities to upgrade residual materials. He says that he has recently joined Synergie Gaspésie, a circular economy project in which there may be other occasions to create links with other local businesses.

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting up a business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region?

“Do not hesitate to contact all economic and development actors!” According to him, these people “go that extra mile and work to make things happen. These people are enthusiastic and they are there to find a way to make things happen for you.” He also underlined the importance of including the community in a project. “The community is one of the strengths in the Baie-de-Chaleurs region. It is behind businesses and welcomes them with open arms.” According to Joseph, part of the pleasure is having it involved in the business and vice versa.



About Joseph and Laurie-Anne

Born in Caplan, Joseph St-Denis Boulanger is the President and Master Distiller in the business. Originally from Montreal, Laurie-Ann Cloutier holds the position of Vice-President.

Agenda Fleuriste: Business Portrait

Kim Lavigne acquired Agenda Fleuriste, in Maria, in July 2019. Since then, she enlivens her clients’ daily grind with her flowers, plants, helium balloons and various gifts. A discussion with this entrepreneur.


In what way is your business unique?

“When I purchased the business, my goal was to have a large variety of plants so people could find [types] they did not already have” mentioned Kim. In April, she started up a Facebook group called “Les VIP des plantes d’Agenda Fleuriste,” which features inside information about plants received or expected. This businesswoman strives to meet the needs of her clientele and to respect it, while having a friendly atmosphere in her boutique also counts a lot for her.

How did support from the SADC help you?

“It allowed me to finalize my project.” Kim specified that she had the support of the MRC, the SADC, Desjardins Micro-Credit and of the former owner to purchase her business. The SADC then offered her financing for a transactional website in addition to web marketing training. Kim appreciated the fact that the SADC suggested that she attend the Circular Economy Rendezvous last April. “It was really interesting. It did me a lot of good!”

Tell us about a recent noteworthy achievement of which you are especially proud as an entrepreneur (ex.: in the field of sustainable development). 

Right from the beginning, “getting an electric delivery vehicle!” Kim gradually made other changes. “Before that, flowers were wrapped in plastic. Now it’s 95% Kraft paper.” In addition, when she can, she brings back flowering cactus plants which grow in Québec. When this was being written, Kim was considering collaborating with a company in the Gaspésie region to sell biological and local flowers when in season.

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting up a business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region?

“Having confidence, forging ahead, one step at a time, even if it may seem to be a large mountain! I had good support.” According to Kim, there are some great resources in the region. Good persons accompanied me. Going to see another entrepreneur or the MRC is always a good idea.”

Bois JL – Business Portrait

Jacki Leblanc founded the wood processing company Bois JL in May 2018 at Carleton-sur-Mer. Since then, a growing clientele of sawmills, building contractors and individuals use his quality wood products. A conversation with Jacki about his business, which obtained support from the Baie-des-Chaleurs SADC.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Company

Bois JL uses local wood (e.g. cedar, spruce, aspen and tamarack) to make quality products such as doors, strips, mouldings and solid wood beams. The company also features exotic wood for furniture makers. Employing from five to six workers annually, it also distributes Groupe Lebel products.

What Distinguishes Your Company?

Bois JL is distinguished by the quality of its products and its competitive prices. “There is no middleman. I saw and sell the wood. This is why our prices are so much lower” he explained. “We use a lot of aspen, which is not really well known. We saw it differently. Once dried, we straighten it up and it is really nice wood, useful for panelling.”

Why Did You Decide to be in Business?  

”I’ve been dreaming of that since I was 20 years old!” said Jacki in an outburst. I was 46 years old, I had to do it. My mother was also in business.” He really enjoys his new role as an entrepreneur. “Total happiness!”

What did SADC Support Mean to You?

“I got a loan when I started my business”, mentioned Jacki, and technical help to create my Facebook page. He really appreciated the support he received. “This helped me to feel secure,” he confided. “When I borrowed once again later on, I did it with the SADC.”

Tell us About Something You Recently Were Especially Proud to do as an Entrepreneur.

“I purchased a machine to alleviate some of the work being performed by the men” affirmed Jacki. “This is a precision trimmer. Before that, we would saw bundles of wood with a chainsaw. The men work less hard with the trimmer. It also makes a better quality product with very precise measurements.”

What Advice Would You Give to Someone Who Wants to Start a Business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs Region?

According to Jacki, you have to know how to get the right type of support and to knock on the right doors. In addition to the SADC, the MRC Avignon gave him precious assistance. “The MRC gave me a helping hand for the business plan. I was given good advice.”



About Jacki Leblanc

Having first started his career as an electrician, Jacki Leblanc wanted to do something else. Because of his love for wood, he founded Bois JL in 2018 at Carleton-sur-Mer (Saint-Omer district).


Maille atelier collaboratif – Business Portrait

Laura-Anne Lamarche and Ghislain Dea co-founded the Maille atelier collaboratif in 2019 at New Richmond. Since then, their long lasting-furniture has enhanced the decoration and optimized many residences, businesses and organizations in the Gaspésie region. Interview with Laura-Anne about entrepreneurship and her business, which had received support from the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Business

Maille atelier collaboratif combines professional design services and furniture making to develop interior layout which is adapted to the specific needs of each client. With painstaking attention to details, her team manufactures and installs long-lasting quality furniture of a beauty that time cannot wash away.

In what way is your business unique?

“The originality of the projects we develop is outstanding in addition to the broad scope of products we are able to offer with all of the sub-contractors who support us” says Laura-Anne. “We try not to have limits in our designs or use of materials. We work with metal, wood and glass. We don’t just make cupboards. We can make stairs and guardrails. This is architectural furniture making. Most of the time it is functional, but we are sometimes on the fringe of art.”

Why have you chosen to be entrepreneurs?

“Ghislain and myself were unable to find employment in the region for what we wanted to accomplish” explained Laura-Anne. “Our passion led us to become entrepreneurs, to create employment and to like our job. We also felt that the offer of made-to-measure furniture could be improved in the region.”

How did support from the SADC help you?

First, Maille obtained financing. “It was one of the most advantageous offers in the region” mentioned the young entrepreneur. “It is a personal loan and it’s really interesting as seed capital to start up a business.” Maille also had support from the SADC during the pandemic, including support for a structuring project. This assistance “allowed us to conduct strategic planning, to have support to review the structure of the business and to become more efficient.”

Tell us about a recent noteworthy achievement of which you are especially proud as an entrepreneur (ex.: in the field of sustainable development).

“We always try to select the most sustainable materials” specified Laura-Anne. “We recently submitted a research theme to the CIRADD (a research centre attached to the Cégep de la Gaspésie and des Îles), which was accepted. Students in nature science who work in a partnership with CIRADD staff will make proposals to us on how to recycle the cuttings from our materials.”

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting up a business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region?

“You have to be a little naive. Don’t ask yourself too many questions. Try it, go!” suggests Laura-Anne. “I think that our success is due to the fact that we’re passionate about it. But you have to realize that you won’t always be doing what is a passion for you.” Open-mindedness and collaboration are also essential. “It’s important not to be afraid of asking for help when dealing with something you know less about and to seek good support from the right people.”



About Laura-Anne Lamarche and Ghislain Dea

Co-founders of the Maille Atelier collaboratif, Laura-Anne Lamarche and Ghislain Dea have complementary know how in their business. A member of the Ordre des architectes du Québec, Laura-Anne is a project manager and architect. Ghislain is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and he works as a technical designer and mechanical engineer.

GoFin: Find Your Funding

All grants and financial aids, in just a few clicks

GoFin is the fast and precise search tool that allows SMEs to identify funding sources tailored to their activities and specific needs.

Simplified Search for Grants and Funding for SMEs

We understand that it can be challenging for businesses to navigate the various available financial aid sources. That’s why SADC and CAE offer you a detailed and precise search tool that enables you to quickly and freely find the right funding for every situation.

Our GoFin search engine, powered by Fundica, lists thousands of funding programs at the local, provincial, and national levels. It continuously collects information to ensure results are always complete, up-to-date, and ranked by relevance.

4 Types of Funding Listed
  1. Grants: Non-repayable, they support specific objectives and are generally disbursed before or during the investment period.
  2. Government Loans: Repayable financial contributions with favorable conditions, generally disbursed before the investment period.
  3. Tax Credits: Potential reductions in payable taxes, disbursed after expenses are incurred for certain types of investments.
  4. Loan Guarantees: The government guarantees a loan, partially or fully repaying in case of default by the business. Provided before the loan is granted.
How to Use GoFin?
  1. Create your account for free.
  2. Fill in the 5 mandatory fields of your business profile.
  3. Adjust the filters to refine your search according to your activities and specific needs.
  4. View the results organized by type of financial aid (grants, loans, tax credits, and loan guarantees).
  5. Add financial aids to your favorites list.
  6. Need assistance? Click the link to find your local SADC or CAE and get support from our advisors.
Ready to Find Funding?

Access GoFin and identify the grants and financial aids that meet your business needs.

Business Portrait – La belle vie sailing

Marie-Pier Grenier and Adrien Bernier Nadeau founded La belle vie sailing in Paspébiac, in 2019. Since then, the popularity of their sailing company hasn’t stopped growing. In fact, the couple obtained support from the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs in 2021 to ensure its expansion. On board the Vanamo catamaran docked in Bouillante, Guadeloupe, Marie-Pier answered our questions to let you discover the company and the team of entrepreneurs that she and her spouse make.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the Company

Benefitting from the busy tourist season in the summer, La belle vie sailing offers sailing courses and cruises of 3 to 24 hours with a sleepover and a meal on the Baie des Chaleurs. During the winter, the company offers one-week “sailing holidays” in the Caribbean.

How Does Your Company Stand Out?  

According to Marie-Pier, La belle vie sailing is one of the few if not the only businesses in Quebec to offer its services year-round. “It’s our sailing ship, we bring it down to the Caribbean and this makes our company original and unique!” Another distinguishing point: “the fact that we are a couple of entrepreneurs. We are both on board the ship on a full-time basis to offer our services. Our skills and strengths are very complementary.” The couple calls on its uniqueness to offer a personalized client experience, with stayovers and meals on board.

Why Have You Chosen to Become Entrepreneurs?

“I think that it’s the thirties doldrums” says Marie-Pier. We were no longer happy with subway, work, sleep. Right from the start, we wanted to found a company, to build something viable, new, distinctive.” The couple also wanted to travel and discover the world differently. Adrien got the idea for sailing, as he wanted to live his passion. As far as I was concerned, I always dreamed of starting up a business. We both wanted freedom of choice for what we wanted to do. Have decision-making power over our lives and what make us live.”

What did Support From the SADC Give You?

“It allowed us to complete a first phase in the expansion of the company, affirmed Mare-Pier. We obtained financing to purchase a live-in multi-hull catamaran sailing vessel to have room for more clients at the same time and cater to the strong demand. Secondly, we will want to purchase other sailing vessels.”


Tell Us About a Recent Good Move of Which You Are Especially Proud as Entrepreneurs (ex. regarding sustainable development). “We are essentially a company, considering its activities and equipment, which is very ecological, noted Marie-Pier. We use renewable energy on board. We make our own water and electricity independently.” Marie-Pier explained that solar panels allow developing energy which is stored in their batteries to power lights, navigation instruments, etc. These batteries also power the desalination device that pumps in seawater, withdraws particles, including salt, and pumps out soft drinking water.

“In the last months, we managed to recruit a major partner: Volthium, a Quebec company. Encouraging local companies is also part of our values! This company develops lithium batteries. This is more ecological than acid batteries and much more durable over time. »

What Advice Would You Give a Person Who Wants to Start Up in Business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs Region?

“Do not hesitate to contact other businesses and organizations in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region” mentioned Marie-Pier. “It is necessary to develop links and partnerships with locals. With strength in numbers, we can go farther and faster!”



About Adrien and Marie-Pier

Originally from Lévis, Marie-Pier Grenier was a business advisor and management consultant in addition to having worked for 10 years in the restaurant business. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA in international management, she is in charge of customer service for La belle vie sailing.


Originally from Carleton-sur-Mer, Adrien Bernier Nadeau learned navigation on his parent’s sailing vessel in the Baie-des-Chaleurs. Trained as a mechanical engineer, he has acquired several licences and certificates which allowed him to become a captain and sailing instructor for La belle vie sailing.