Behind every St-Hubert franchise lies a typical family with a history all their own. In Montmagny, that family is Charles Pomerleau and Martin Pagé. Friends in life and at work, the two entrepreneurs are like family to one another, proving that friendship and business can go hand in hand.
In 2008, Charles followed his parents’ footsteps by taking over the rotisserie they founded in 1984. Like his parents, Charles made a happy team his top priority.
"I have four employees, including two managers, who have been with the Rivière-du-Loup rotisserie since 1984. Marjolaine, who works in the kitchen, was also my babysitter when I was a child," explains Charles.
In addition to taking over the family restaurant, Charles opened a second franchise, this time in Montmagny.
From kitchen talk to a common project
For his second franchise, Charles wanted to partner with someone he could trust. That someone turned out to be Martin Pagé.
"Because I was close with Martin, I knew he was a super bright, conscientious person who wanted to make sense of his job. And I wasn’t wrong," says Charles. In 2011, while their children were playing together a few steps away, Charles gave Martin an opening.
"We were in my kitchen having random discussions when Charles told me he had a project for me, but without giving me more details," says Martin who, a few days later, agreed to become co-franchisee of the future St-Hubert Express in Montmagny.
Even if Martin had never run a restaurant in his life before, his love affair with St-Hubert was hardly new. He worked for three years - from fourteen to sixteen years old - at the rotisserie in Saint-Jérôme. Together, Charles and Martin opened the Express in Montmagny on December 4, 2012, creating about 40 jobs in the region.
A friendship that benefits the community
Even when it comes to their implications, Martin and Charles complement each other wonderfully. Martin is on the board of directors of the St-Hubert Foundation, in addition to being involved through the same role at a shelter that helps people in need in the region. He is also a part-time firefighter. Charles, for his part, is involved in Collège Notre-Dame, the Mont-Comi Alpine Ski Club, and Tourisme Rivière-du-Loup and is always trying to do more for the environment. Among other things, he planted trees to offset the amount of emissions generated by his delivery cars.
For several years now, the Montmagny rotisserie has been part of the network that oversees the after-prom drive-home program for local high schools.
"The idea came to us three or four years ago when several of our employees were graduating the same year. As a joke, my manager and I told our employees that we would be happy to take them home. Ultimately, we offered our drive-home services to the entire school," explains Martin, who was unaware at the time that the Val-D’Or rotisserie also offered a similar service.
How would you describe the great St-Hubert family?
"St-Hubert is the story of a family that is not afraid to invest for the collective good. I have always had the environment and the good of others at heart and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be," says Charles.
For this pair of friends and entrepreneurs, putting family first is all about doing things you love for the people you care about.