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When local initiatives revive a village

Quand les initiatives locales font renaître un village

Once upon a time, there was a village, a small municipality called Sainte-Lucie-de-Beauregard. Located about 2 hours from Quebec, this village has seen me grow at the same time as I have seen it quietly wither away. Over the years, businesses closed and families left. But a glimmer of hope has come to settle in the hearts of the inhabitants of the small municipality of 304 inhabitants of Chaudière-Appalaches: for a few years now, we have seen the entrepreneurial spirit that was so present at a certain time rise again from its ashes.

Ste-Lucie-de-Beauregard celebrated its centenary in 2015. At the time of the colonization of land in the region, it was perceived as the municipality with the greatest power of attraction over families who wanted to live there. establish. Land was offered at a good price and promises were made of rich land and abundant sugar bushes.

Booming local economy

Even today, it is nature present everywhere that quietly revives the village. This article is one to highlight the effort of the villages, its inhabitants, its families who live there and who work so hard to keep their environment alive while using the undeniable advantages offered by the region.

It is with this in mind that I wanted to introduce you to two companies that work very hard to showcase nature and its assets.

Appalachian Micro-Chalets

Born from a family idea, the Micro-Chalets des Appalaches offer rental of small, fully equipped vacation cabins. Far from the city, hassle and stress, the micro-chalets are a haven of peace in nature. Located in the Appalaches Regional Park, the chalets will satisfy couples and families, including pitou who is accepted both in the chalets and in the Regional Park.

But why invest in a project like this in Ste-Lucie-de-Beauregard? Marcel Falardeau , co-owner of Micro-Chalets took a few minutes of his time to answer this question. “We believe we are in a privileged environment for tourism development because people need to recharge their batteries away from the hubbub of everyday life and in the heart of nature. »

Developing your own business can seem complicated and doing it in the regions can make it seem even more so. On the other hand, according to Mr. Falardeau, they did not encounter any major difficulties, but only the normal stages such as financing, publicity and the installation of infrastructures. However, he warns that it takes a lot of perseverance, dedication and motivation to start a business.

The success of the Micro-Chalets attracts new faces to the Beauregardois landscape and this has an impact on the municipality's economy. These visitors spend at the grocery store and at the village bar in addition to visiting the Regional Park. In addition, they talk about their experience and do great publicity for both the company and the municipality. The success is such that the owners are thinking of building six new chalets in the coming years to meet the ever-increasing demand! Follow the progress of the company on their Facebook page, in addition to being able to admire the pretty photographs that are shared there.

local economy

Credit: Sandra Lacroix

Maple bistreau

Le Bistreau d'érable is an organic family sugar shack that offers traditional meals but also the tasting of local products and of course maple products.

Recognized for its excellent cuisine, the Bistreau d'érable even offers a vegetarian sugar menu with its omelet served in a cast iron skillet or its tofu and mushroom tourtière.

It was with Noémie Gautreau Régnier , co-owner of the Bistreau d'érable and the Pin Croche Inc. forest farm that I had the chance to talk to.

When I ask her what motivates them to invest in Ste-Lucie-de-Beauregard, she replies:

“We live here and we have always worked for the development of our village and our region, in various aspects. We believe we live in a marvelous environment that is worth knowing. We are proud of our living environment! »

local economy

Credit: Sandra Lacroix

And according to her, what are the advantages of starting a business in the regions?

“Here is a blank page. There is room to try all sorts of things because there is so little on offer. Anything can be done, just be creative and have the energy to do it. People who come here love the area and often come back. Being remote allows people to experience a real break with the city and it makes them feel good to be immersed in nature, she continues. We are in a unique and rare environment that is worth valuing. There are specific programs assigned to the development of the regions, and since there are few inhabitants and projects, by having a well-crafted file, our chances are higher of winning the nomination. We work two minutes walk from home! It's beautiful , practical and ecological ! »

Launching a business is not always easy and doing so in the regions can also bring its share of particular difficulties. According to Mrs. Gautreau Réginer , they experienced some difficulties when starting up the Bistreau d'érable: “Distance is a difficulty, both personally and for the company. This results in additional travel costs and time on the road. Another major difficulty, she adds, is the internet network, which is mediocre… it's a shame that Quebec isn't more keen on connecting the regions. It's painful for us, because everything today is done online, especially when the distances are great. Finally, the lack of a cellular network is also a problem because some customers and suppliers communicate with us by text message and we cannot answer them. Others put on the GPS to find our sugar shack and lose it on the way, which makes it difficult for them to get to our place. You have to let them know beforehand. »

local economy

Credit: Sandra Lacroix

Proud of her village, she says that all businesses in the municipality make a difference in the life of Ste-Lucie-de-Beauregard, and that the economy and the tourist industry are all the better for it.

To anyone who would like to start a business in the region, she offers some advice such as versatility, patience, knowing how to surround yourself with the right people and having good financial advisors.

And where does the Bistreau d'érable see itself in the coming years? The owners speak of a period of stabilization for the years to come, since they have been growing for ten years.

Therefore, note that the Bistreau d'érable season will begin on February 23, 2018: follow them on their Facebook page to stay tuned!

These two companies are not alone in Ste-Lucie-de-Beauregard, but they are good examples of the vitality of entrepreneurship and the inventiveness of local residents. Using the region's assets, highlighting them and making them grow in order to offer local products and unique experiences, they have made it their specialty.

Reviewed by Maud Duchesne

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