Nicole Buchanan

Chief Negotiator, Retired in 2020

Looking back, she recalls 4 decades of changes and phenomenal growth. Changes that may seem trivial in 2021, but that required significant upstream work. Let us tell you about one of Nicole’s projects that made St-Hubert a restaurant pioneer in Quebec.

Precut Vegetables at St-Hubert

In the mid 1990s, Nicole was assigned to a complex but innovative project: integrating ready to use or precut vegetables in restaurants. Did you frown upon reading this? How was this innovative you wonder? Here is the answer:

In 1996, that concept was almost exclusive to Europe and was barely starting to spread to North America, mainly to the United States. In Canada, most restaurants were still manually preparing their vegetables, including shredded cabbage. This project was suggested to St-Hubert franchisees and was met with reluctance because basic costs were higher even though the process predicted profitability and resolved a rotisserie labour issue. After developing the project for over 18 months in rotisseries, it came close to never seeing the light of day due to issues with the local supplier. Nicole had to step in!

A Quick Trip to the United States

Worthy of a fast-paced action movie, Nicole and her colleague Luc Guindon decided to organize a quick trip to Monterey, California, to visit an important processor. There was no time to waste, otherwise all the work that had been done would be lost! Within 36 hours they had taken six flights, visited the plant, and returned with new work basics and a new supplier. To date, this trip is etched in Nicole’s and St-Hubert’s memory. Both employees received spy-worthy nicknames after this crazy adventure: Mrs. BuchaCHOO and ArmaGUINDON! When can we expect the film adaptation?


From the RCMP to St-Hubert

Before joining St-Hubert, Nicole worked for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Surprising, isn’t it? Her functions remain protected by professional secrecy. Perhaps she was trying to unlock the secret of her favourite St-Hubert BBQ sauce? We’ll never know…