Women who have made the region grow
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we would like to acknowledge the past and present contribution women have made to the development of Brome-Missisquoi. Here are three business women who contribute to the vitality of our region’s tourist industry.
Efforts that have Paid Off
Sylvie Bédard, co-owner of l’Auberge-spa Le Madrigal
Although originally from Quebec City, Sylvie has set her roots right here in Brome-Missisquoi. “My husband is from Eastman and when we arrived in Bromont, the welcome was so warm that I knew I could never leave this place.” That was in 2012, when, along with her father, the entrepreneur bought the Auberge-spa Le Madrigal from Claude and Jeanne Massé, who established this local institution in 1993.
Backed by twenty-five years working in the field of accommodations services at Hôtel des Seigneurs in Ste-Hyacinthe, with Audrey, her eldest daughter studying at ITHQ and her father Marcel, an entrepreneur ready to invest, the timing was perfect to launch this adventure; “In business, they say, it’s only after five years have gone by that you start to have fun. I can confirm it’s true!” Sylvie admits that it was truly a sizeable challenge. Having the restaurant always running at high speed, creating a design with a modern flair, refreshing our brand image… “But all the effort we put in this project has paid off today,” Sylvie is proud to say.” The restaurant is doing well, our clients come back, comments are always positive. In short, we are experiencing a very good growth.” The “we” she talks about, in fact, represents her entire family. Sylvie’s husband—the restaurant Chef—and their three daughters, Audrey, Charlotte and Roxanne, who are also very involved in the enterprise.
“We are presently making plans which would allow us to eventually pass the Auberge on to our daughters,” explains Sylvie, clearly very happy to see that her family also wants to set as deep roots in the region as she has!
From the Garage … to L’Arbordage!
Dominique Miville-Deschênes, co-owner of the brewery À l’Abordage
It was love at first sight for Dominique Miville-Deschênes and her life partner, Cédrik Dion Poitras, when, in 2015, they first walked inside the vacant building, located at 10, South Main St, in Sutton. They had a very clear idea of they wanted to accomplish when they acquired the place, along with Denis, Dominique’s father: To establish a microbrewery and a pub-style restaurant; a warm friendly environment where clients will find quality and affordable local products. “Cedrik and I have always been interested in the brewing business,” says Dominique, “We started brewing beer in our garage!” They then both completed their training in Montreal, Dominique got her business administration certificate and they finally made their dream become a reality.
Originally from Bromont and a true fan of the great outdoors, the same is also true for Cedrik, the couple focused on Sutton, believing they would answer to a need for the area. They were right. “Right from the start, the customers were there,” says the young, 27-year-old woman. “We had such a flow of customers last summer, that we didn’t have enough beer at one point!” To solve this interesting problem, the two entrepreneurs ordered new equipment to meet the demand. So, from their first selection of four beers, the microbrewery now offers nine different products.
With their pub-style restaurant, seating 75 guests, plus a terrace, adding 50 more places during the summer months, these new brews aren’t considered as a luxury! “We hope to actually double our production,” says Dominique; and so doing, why not double the happiness index for her customers as well!
Marie-Florence Crevier-Paradis, co-manager of Domaine du Ridge
“My father bought the Domaine du Ridge vineyard, in St-Armand, about twenty years ago and for the past four years I have been working here as well,” explains Marie-Florence Crevier Paradis, daughter of our federal deputy, Denis Paradis. In truth, Marie-Florence does much more than just work at the vineyard. She is totally committed to the enterprise.
The business is presently in the process of being handed over to her and, along with Christophe Limoges, Marie-Florence is now at the helm of this endeavour as well as of the Old Mill bar in Stanbridge-East. The bar was bought in 2015, and is now called the Old Mill 1849, a completely renovated inn and bistro where local wines centre stage.
They also inaugurated Les Serres Stanbridge; “last year we were able to grow 100,000 vine plants,” explains the young business woman. Even though she is presently on maternity leave, Marie-Florence keeps both feet inside the enterprise and her head filled with projects. The new mom mentions a project about “this idea for a table beer.” More than anything, she is passionate, “I work in a field that I love, with products of which I am proud, and all this while living in a magnificent environment!” what more could anyone want?