alimentation locale

La Fabrique Gourmande: a biscuit factory with local and social values

La Fabrique Gourmande

It was an inspiring encounter that we had with Isabelle Magny, founder of La Fabrique Gourmande located in St-Narcisse in Mauricie. Isabelle is an entrepreneur with human values. These are reflected even in its business decisions. "I've always dreamed of having my own business", explains Isabelle, during our meeting in her office. She points out that she has always had the temperament to be her own boss. The longest part of the process was coming up with the idea. The one to make him live his dream. La Fabrique Gourmande came to life in 2016 through a series of coincidences and conversations. This is the story of a biscuit factory that dreams of feeding the world in its own way!

The Gourmet Factory

Isabelle Magny, founder of the Fabrique Gourmande

First refusal, new school orientation

Isabelle enrolls in Cégep en musique. His application is denied and his world crumbles. The future entrepreneur, no longer knowing what to do, discusses her options with her aunt. The latter is the first person who will influence his career choice. Her aunt reminds her of the interest she had in cooking when she was younger. The way she was “trippy” about creating recipes and the dream she had of opening her creamery when she grew up. Isabelle therefore decides to continue on this path and enrolls in dietetics. She discovers an exciting part of it.

During her studies, Isabelle worked for 7 years in the food sector, mainly in a hospital centre. She then held a student position at Desjardins, which lit another flame. That of administrative management. She then decided to continue at university in administration, entrepreneurship, then, for a master's degree, in business administration. She then teaches financial management in the “Business Launch” course, always taking as an example “the small biscuit factory that buys so much flour, then sugar, etc. » His entrepreneurial project comes back to him with full force when his students ask him: « When is the opening of your business? You make us hungry with your cookies! »

She then decides to take the plunge.

40 years and a new passion

The Gourmet Factory

Everything is moving quickly. A career change and a desire to take on new challenges. Her dentist was another person of influence for Isabelle. She tells him about her desire to open a biscuit factory and he encourages her to follow her dreams by telling her the story of an acquaintance who has developed a flourishing biscuit business. Isabelle decides to go for it and sets up her business plan. Almost three years later, his turnover is still growing and his team is now made up of four people.

gift from norway

The Gourmet Factory

The Norwegian-inspired crackers , La Fabrique Gourmande's flagship product, are a gift that Isabelle received unexpectedly. The recipe was given to her by a friend who made it up during her stay in Norway. “Make this in your cookie factory,” her friend confides in her. It is impossible to find in Quebec! The challenge will be to find the perfect formula to keep this cracker full of flavor without using preservatives.

The human behind the cookie

Isabelle loves helping people and making a difference around her! Assessing the growth of the company and the 16 hours a day she often puts in to orchestrate everything, the solution to hire comes naturally to her. “Often, as an entrepreneur, you have to support another person before even paying yourself a salary to get where you want to go,” explains Isabelle of her first employee.

The Gourmet Factory

The La Fabrique Gourmande team: Alexandre, Isabelle, Jacinthe and Amélie

The beauty of La Fabrique Gourmande lies in its team. Alexandre is a determined and gifted young man in the kitchen. After an attempt to follow a DEP in cooking, he still dreams of working in industry. Thorough and efficient, he quickly enters the quantities for the recipes and the conversions to be made. Despite being autistic, Alexandre is an incredible asset in the kitchen of La Fabrique gourmande .

Jacinthe is a caring, creative and hardworking young woman. Suffering from trisomy 21, Isabelle makes sure to put everything in place to allow Jacinthe to be fulfilled in her work. She also created the very last box of biscuits to decorate with the family for Easter in collaboration with Amélie, the new shareholder.

“It's so rewarding to work with them,” says Isabelle, speaking of her different and unique employees. We have adapted the environment to their limitations and their ways of learning; time and tasks are arranged according to their needs. She wants to be able to offer them a long-term living and working environment as well as allowing them to grow and evolve within the company.

Local and preservative-free

The Gourmet Factory

Isabelle relies on local products. It is listed on each of the product sheets on their website. The maple cookie is made 100% with local ingredients. It is important for the company to choose its raw materials wisely, to favor organic and local products, in addition to betting on taste. All products are free of preservatives and artificial flavors. By reading the list of ingredients, you will discover fiber-rich products whose quality outweighs quantity! By eating an apple and maple cheddar Energetic cookie, you will be satisfied with 4 g of protein, 2 g of fiber and 90% local ingredients! Orders are made online, directly at the Ste-Narcisse boutique or at their 15 points of sale located throughout Quebec.

Future plans

Isabelle is currently developing several projects. She is working on expanding the workspace to add a reception room for birthdays, cooking workshops and cookie decorating classes.

Isabelle and her new partner, Amélie, are bubbling with ideas to develop new products based on local ingredients and expand the crackers and cookies offer! With a partner at her side, Isabelle manages to better reconcile work, family and personal life. In order to really get away from it all, Isabelle treats herself to a few days in the depths of the woods, without an accessible network and at least an hour's drive from any civilization when she can. "It's the only way that allows me to really pick up, having no access to my cellphone," laughs Isabelle!

To learn more about La Fabrique Gourmande, visit its Signé Local profile.

Reviewed by Sandrine

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