purchasing power | When customers become employees

Times are tough for entrepreneurs who are struggling to find workers. At the same time, many consumers are struggling to make ends meet with food inflation. Isaac Bosquet balances these two challenges: his food distribution company, Damesara, invites his customers to become part-time delivery men. What sweetens the grocery bill.

Posted at 7:00 am

Stephanie Berube

Stephanie Berube
The press

Damesara is no ordinary food company. Local products line the shelves of his warehouse in Lachine, but also Pakistani rice, Tunisian sardines and the fizzy and very, very sweet choucoune drink with the taste of bananas or exotic fruits that is so popular in Haiti. Damesara bills itself as Montreal’s multi-ethnic food warehouse. She mainly sells online and delivers.

There are now five full-time employees there, but Damesara plans to soon embark on a period of growth to reach more members of the communities who can find familiar foods there that are less scattered in Quebec or scattered elsewhere.

“We select our purchases very much according to what our customers want,” explains Isaac Bosquet. We listen to them a lot. »

And the entrepreneur clearly sees that inflation is affecting his customers, who are increasingly asking him about it. Damesara already had a program that offered discounts to its big buyers. It just added a component to its “affiliate” programs: customers can make deliveries. Isaac Bosquet explains that these are mostly people who already have a full-time job, but who welcome the extra few hours. “Everyone benefits! he says.

The deliverer must use his vehicle and will be compensated according to the distance traveled.

13 people are already taking part in this program. Damesara names many more as his “associated” customers.

Proven principle, the partner opens an account and recruits customers who order through him. The connected customer receives a 10% discount on every purchase made by their friends or family members. Once again, Issac Bosquet explains, this is a way to significantly reduce grocery bills.


The Damesara camp in Lachine. There are mainly products from Quebec, Haiti, West Indies, Tunisia and Algeria.


Caroline Thélémaque discovered Damesara about two years ago when she was offered a basket of food that would take her back to her country of origin, Haiti. The vast majority of the food sold at Damesara comes from Haiti or the West Indies.

“I found it interesting because Dame Sara is the small businesswoman in Haiti and she is at the heart of the country’s economy,” says Caroline Thélémaque, President of Club Les Gazelles, which is dedicated to women’s welfare.

I liked the way Damesara manages to make Haitian culture more accessible.

Caroline Thélémaque, client

For example, by selling Haitian chocolate already grated, which makes it possible to skip a step in the preparation of this cuisine that can sometimes take time.

Caroline Thélémaque has just joined the affiliate program that gives a discount. “It also allows me to introduce Haitian cuisine,” she says.

Damesara now wants to inflate the number of his customers.

How to join them?

“We’re going to tour the churches and mosques of Montreal,” explains Isaac Bosquet, who is in the process of compiling a list of the places of worship visited by a team dedicated to recruitment. Tunisia and Algeria are also well represented at Damesara. “I will call the imams personally to explain our project to them,” says the entrepreneur.

The icing on the cake: Damesara has just received his license to sell and supply alcohol.

Jamaican beer will therefore soon be added to its already extensive range, says Isaac Bosquet proudly, but also local products to quench the thirst of all his customers.

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