Skill and know-how
*Behind every menu, product and experience, you’ll find passionate people and their stories. Discover these proud Outaouais ambassadors!
I thought I was going to interview one person at Rochef: the founding chocolatier himself, Roch Fournier. But I was wrong: they come in packs of two! Businessman Alain Fredette and his partner welcomed us to their office above the chocolate shop.
One comes from Hull, the other from Treadwell, in eastern Ontario. One used to help his mother in the kitchen, making cakes (and licking spatulas), the other grew up in a community where helping each other out was a way of life. One developed a passion for chocolate, the other founded an office equipment company and got involved in a thousand and one projects.
They met in 2005 during mentoring sessions. Alain has always enjoyed helping others, including young entrepreneurs. “I enjoy seeing people grow, working on the individual and not the business,” he says. For his part, Roch wanted to expand his chocolate shop. Four years later, they became co-owners. And since then, Rochef has grown steadily.
Doing things right
What stands out in both men is their desire to do things right, at both the human and the product level. Roch is the quality control guy: “The beauty of Rochef is that it remains artisanal. We cut the chocolate by hand. The almonds roasted in the morning are coated the same day. We value freshness, and we’ll never move away from that.”
Alain, meanwhile, talks to me about entrepreneurship. “My strength is people, human resources, customer service. It’s important to be consistent: make a good product, build positive relationships with customers and employees.”
And with all these ingredients combined, the two men are ready to conquer … the world?
“We’re about 10% of the way there. We want to penetrate western Canada, the United States. We were running a teenage business; now it’s all grown up.”
What makes them proud—and it shows in their eyes—is that we haven’t seen anything yet.
Discover our Ambassadors : tourismeoutaouais.com/en/ambassadors