C. Meilleur et fils inc.: four generations of family expertise

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Summary

Company: C. Meilleur et fils inc.

Region: Laurentides

Program: QEDP - TISQ

Financial assistance enabled: the growth of the business productivity and its expansion

 

This family adventure began in 1922 when Adrien Meilleur took the train north into the Laurentians and alighted in Val-Barrette, where he acquired a sawmill, something no community could be without in those days. The senior Meilleur was an enterprising businessman, going on to acquire other sawmills in the area and bringing his sons into the business. In 1945, he bought the mill in Kiamika, which his son Charles ran for three years before taking over as its owner. C. Meilleur et fils inc. was established in 1976, passing intro the hands of Charles’s son André ten years later. Since 2009, a fourth Meilleur generation has reached for the reins of the family business with the arrival of André’s son, Charles,

An early shift to green, and the need to expand

In the 1980s, the family business decided to go green and invest in the exploitation of white cedar. It specialized in the milling and processing of cedar, producing construction lumber, sheathing and interior panelling, cedar mulch, floating docks and outdoor furniture.

aluminum-framed and cedar dock

Aluminum-framed and cedar dock

In 2012, looking to boost sales, C. Meilleur et fils inc. embarked on a fresh adventure: building a new plant. Financial support was secured from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions to assist with the building of the plant, and the acquisition of equipment. The expansion enabled C. Meilleur et fils inc. to joint smaller boards, thereby increasing their market value. The company also increased its productivity, and diversified its range of secondary and tertiary processed goods. For example, bush shelters for use by hunters and anglers are now available.

Added value for Kiamika and the Upper Laurentians

This family firm is a perfect fit within the municipality of Kiamika and the surrounding area. It buys its cedar directly from local suppliers, thereby contributing to the economic development of the Upper Laurentians region. The expansion will also make it possible now to provide work over a longer period each year for its seasonal employees.

C. Meilleur et fils inc. is a convincing example of a family that has been able to build a strong business with a diversified range of products over a period of decades. Each generation of managers has contributed its innovative vision to the business, without losing sight of the importance of regional economic development and jobs for local workers. Let us hope that subsequent generations will hold the torch high, as the four previous ones have done.

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