SME Universe | Atikamekw in partnership with the oldest family home improvement store in Canada

It’s almost a leap in history. First Nations members partnered with “the oldest family-owned hardware store in Canada” to earn a 51 percent interest in a BMR location in La Tuque.

Posted at 9:00 am

Marc Tison

Marc Tison
The press

Following its agreement with the Pierre Naud company, the Atikamekw Council of Wemotaci (CAW) invested US$1.8 million in the new company, which will be called SEC Pierre Naud/Mokotakan.

“It’s truly a first for Wemotaci to be investing outside of its community,” notes Adam Jourdain, the council’s interim CEO. “We are a community that wants to innovate and we want to get out of poverty. By investing outside like that, we can create other levers and other opportunities. »

Located 115 km northwest of La Tuque, Wemotaci has nearly 2,050 registered members, 1,400 of whom live on its territory.

The partnership is part of an economic stimulus package launched by CAW two years ago.

“Part of that plan was to acquire businesses outside the community,” explains Adam Jourdain.

The recent shortage of building materials, which “has often saw off our legs on certain projects”, has prompted the Council to take an interest in the sector.

“We started looking for our own hardware store in Wemotaci, but the market wasn’t big enough. »

The council considered opening one in La Tuque, but a market study showed the city could not support a second major hardware store. He therefore decided to participate in the first.

A year ago, the council began negotiations with the Pierre Naud company, which was already supplying materials to the municipality.

With more than 130 years of existence, Pierre Naud is proud to be the oldest family home improvement store in Canada. Led by Marc-André and Philippe Lebel, Mr Naud’s great-great-grandsons, the company has six BMR branches and a doors and windows factory in Desbiens.

“We’ve been rubbing shoulders for several years,” says Adam Jourdain. The Lebel brothers understood the situation in Wemotaci, they understood our vision. They are very open-minded and the negotiations went very well. »

The DIY store La Tuque has 25 employees. The council plans to add a service point in Wemotaci.

“We’re a small community and having the know-how of a hardware store is quite complex,” adds the managing director. Having the Lebel brothers with us is a perfect fit, both for them and for us. Pierre Naud will manage the La Tuque office, but we are not only coming as investors. We want to develop Pierre Naud’s business in La Tuque. We have the resources, the projects and the contacts in the Aboriginal communities to increase the income of this organization. »

The new Safari Park Lions reel


Photo courtesy of Parc Safari

Parc Safari’s new Lion electric bush truck displays a sobriety that would be the envy of the dromedary that accompanies it here.

The lion swallows the visitors… and brings them back to Hemmingford Safari Park at the end of his journey. Seven electric trucks manufactured by Lion Electric in Saint-Jérôme and delivered in 2021 were put into service at the official opening of Parc Safari on May 20th and presented to the media on June 6th. Equipped as bush vehicles, they complete the Safari Aventure Route, a 5 km route on a 50 hectare site. With a capacity of 50 passengers, they can accommodate all wheelchairs. The zero-emission vehicle, which displays a sobriety that would be the envy of the dromedary accompanying it in the photo, was specifically designed for the needs of Parc Safari on the basis of a Lion8 chassis. “Our goal is that within a few years, all Safari Adventure visits will be in 100% electric Lion Bush vehicles,” said Jean-Pierre Ranger, President of Parc Safari. Parc Safari hopes to return to its usual attendance of 300,000 visitors this year.

30 years and the Château Frontenac for Wrebbit


Photo courtesy of Wrebbit

The 610-room Hotel Château Frontenac has 865 pieces in its 3D puzzle version of Wrebbit.

Wrebbit, the maker of 3D puzzles, is celebrating its 30th birthdaye Anniversary through the inclusion of Château Frontenac in its extensive real estate portfolio. The Château Frontenac, from whose walls the governor of the same name did not answer with the muzzles of his cannons, presented a beautiful design challenge due to its complex configuration. The replica of the 610-room hotel contains – paradoxically – 865 rooms. “This is the first Canadian memorial since it was relaunched in 2011. We took the opportunity of this 30the anniversary of Paul’s invention and the 10the Relaunch to present this new version of Château Frontenac,” explained Jean Théberge, President of Wrebbit, via email. It was September 1991 when Paul E. Gallant applied for a patent for his idea of ​​a 3D puzzle carved from a sheet of foam. After the setbacks following its acquisition by Hasbro, the company was relaunched in 2011 under the name Les Casse-Têtes Wrebbit by Jean Théberge, former VP of Wrebbit. Its new logo, unveiled last January, rediscovered the frog whose croaking inspired the original company’s name.

Four women found Pomme Grenade

A new project has just matured in Quebec’s artistic orchard. Four women just started Pomme Grenade, an artist management and comedy show production company. Guylaine Boisjoli, Patricia Blais, Monique Lamoureux and their president, Nadia Dufour, joined forces last year to create this agency that was “created to meet the demand of comedians”. The company, which represents eight comedians, is also the producer of three shows that are currently touring: In secretby Jean Francois Mercier sixby Dominic and Martin, and Gracefulnessby Christine Morency.

190,000 feet⁠2

Electronics distributor Franklin Empire has just begun construction of its new headquarters. The 190,000 square foot building⁠2which will be located off Highway 40 in Saint-Laurent, will open its doors in the summer of 2023. Two more characters: the family business of 4e generation celebrates their 80th birthdaye birthday this year.

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