Portrait of a long-standing partnership that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
The least that can be said about F.L. Chicoine Printing, located in Saint-Germain-de-Grantham, next to Drummondville, is that it has an unusual history. In a sector where most players are managing a decline, François and Line Chicoine’s team is managing continuous growth. What’s the secret of their success?
A meeting filled with stories
My colleague Jean-François Rivet, in business development at Cascades Recovery+, and I initially had a meeting with Line Chamberland and Pegguie Chicoine, the founder of the printing and her daughter, for an interview on their recycling initiatives. Because indeed, at F.L. Chicoine, we can say #wonderfultheyrecycle. “We have always had a bit of an ecological interest, it’s part of our values. We recycle neons, our batteries go into the program run by Saint-Germain-de-Grantham, our inks are volatile organic compound (VOC) free, we were the first printing in our region to obtain FSCTM certification, we strive to select equipment that allows us to reduce our environmental footprint, and we promote buying local. And, of course, our new plant has an extraction system that moves scrap to a container outside, which helps keep the place very clean and recovers hundreds of tons of paper,” explained Pegguie.
Yet their history goes beyond what they do in terms of recycling. For several minutes, we were captivated, amazed to learn even more about how they started from nothing to ultimately build a respected company that stands out in the printing industry. We see a lot of similarities with Cascades’ beginnings.
François and Line began their professional life in agriculture, managing a 150-arpent farm. But the agricultural sector was labour-intensive and included debts, so the Chicoines looked to diversify their income sources. In 1986, an opportunity to buy a used press presented itself. François was a farmer by trade, but he also had a lot of ingenuity. This first press was purchased and installed…in the family’s home. “François completely disassembled and reassembled it, modifying it slightly,” shared Line with a laugh. “Our five children were obviously initiated into the printing world. They lived with the presses.” This is no doubt the reason why all of them pursuing careers in this field. “Now the third generation of Chicoines is learning the trade, as our grandchildren spend a lot of time at the printing. We even give them jobs to do,” continued Line.
So, what is the secret to their success?
“I would say that our customer service is what sets us apart. We have always been focused on our customers. For each contract we commit to guiding and consulting our customers, and helping them through the thought process. Other strengths: our respect for our employees and staying abreast of new technology. In this industry, we understand just how important it is to be on the cutting edge, to monitor market trends. But at the same time, I would say that passion is what made us grow,” admitted Line, with a sincere look.
30 years calls for a big celebration!
This wonderful family from Centre-du-Québec marks a page in history in 2016–2017. The entire Cascades team joins voices with its customers, other business partners and friends of F.L. Printing to wish them an excellent 30th anniversary. “I want F.L. Chicoine Printing to keep growing and to be present for at least the next two generations,” stated the founder.
Knowing the kind of growth that is desired, we will see even more from F.L. Chicoine Printing in Cascades products.
To learn more about this remarkable family company, visit their website.