Our hardships often define who we are. Following a car accident which temporarily confined him to a wheelchair, Denis Tremblay took some time to rethink his priorities and values. A year after the accident, Denis committed himself, in both body and mind, to a passion project: revamping and owning a grocery store on the decline. He had a clear goal of making this “family project” into his biggest success.
A larger-than-life energy
Upon entering Denis and Jean-François’s store, you immediately feel at home. The employees are just as warm and welcoming as the owners. As Denis says, “If you’re a good boss, you’ll have good employees.” His son and co-owner, Jean-François, has an equally positive attitude and assures that everyone feels this energy as soon as they walk through the store doors.
More so, their trademark smile allows Denis and Jean-François to create genuine connections with their customers. This is just another example of how Denis and Jean-François are always willing to go the extra mile for those they consider friends. As committed owners, they are ready to put in the work to make sure their customers are happy.
Keeping community interests at heart
While customers are their main concern, Denis and Jean-François’s community involvement extends well beyond the store walls. Aside from organizing fundraising activities for the Société Saint-Vincent-de-Paul and Patro Laval, the Tremblays never hesitate to help out young students from a nearby school. For them, a tight-knit community is a healthy community!
“One day, one of our customers came in and asked us to help him put on his wedding tie. We were so touched!”
Community comes first
For Denis and Jean-François, maintaining close relationships with their customers means far more than simply learning their name or making small talk at the checkout line. It also means helping out with everyday life. If a customer needs salt to de-ice their driveway, for example, Denis and Jean-François are quick to give them a product discount. “We want to be here for them when they need us, even if it’s just to lend an ear.”
850 square feet added during their expansion.
- 750hot dogs eaten during the most recent “hot dog party.”
- $2,950 donated to the Société Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, the neighbouring school, and Patro Laval.
- 1977: the year Denis became the owner.
Higher quality, better flavour
In addition to trying out the new products they put on their shelves, the owners make sure all goods sold at the family’s store are carefully inspected. Denis and Jean-François are known in their community for their high-quality products. In fact, their butcher, Roland Tomassin, crafted a wildly popular signature homemade spaghetti sauce, which he gladly offers to the store regulars. However, Roland’s homemade cretons recipe is Denis’s favourite.
A close-knit family is a successful family
Denis’s main priority was making sure that his family was taken care of. Purchasing the grocery store allowed him to achieve this goal. Denis’s wife Estelle has worked alongside him since the early days and has been instrumental in the business’s success. Younger son René also helped his father for many years before enlisting in the Canadian army. Today, Denis’s biggest wish is for his son Jean-François to feel the same sense of satisfaction and joy that he experienced. In the near future, Denis will be proud to hand over sole ownership to his son. As the saying goes, the apple never falls far from the tree.