A journey to the heart of flavor
Founded in 1997, Le Viennois Bakery and Pastry Shop is a regional family store offering fresh, quality products. Its team of about thirty employees is managed by Vicky Tremblay, her husband, and a long-time employee turned a shareholder, Alexanne Lavoie, under the discerning eye of her parents, Jacynthe Bouchard and Jacques Tremblay, the original managers of the establishment. What makes them stand out? They work with unbleached flour to offer healthy and delicious bread to their customers in Chicoutimi.
A local, family venture
To keep the business in the family and make sure it would continue to prosper, Vicky decided to take up the reins with her partner in September 2017. Their products are not only sold in-store; some are also distributed for sale to about thirty convenience stores, neighborhood bakeries and small groceries in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.
Leaving a career as a Forestry Technician (Vicky’s husband) and as a Psychoeducator (Vicky herself), and donning an apron to manage a bakery wasn’t exactly easy. “I’m certain it would have been quite possible to find someone else to take over, but wishing to keep the business in the family, my husband and I decided: why not do it ourselves? In any case, we said we’d give it a try and we’re actually enjoying it,” a delighted Vicky said. Being able to keep supplying healthy and delicious products to the community was at the core of their proposal to continue baking bread and creating customized cakes and other pastries. The couple then decided to join forces with Vicky’s parents and a friend to manage the business and give it a sprinkle of practicality to keep up with the times.
Modernizing the website
In her role as a manager and in charge of human resources, Vicky next decided to improve the outdated website www.leviennois.ca, created in the 2000s. “My parents had had a site created back then. However, unfortunately, they had had practically no access to it at all. The website companies controlled it; it was difficult to manage; photos never got uploaded and our products stayed the same. The site needed rescuing.” She contacted A.R.C. Informatique Inc. in order to meet demand from social networks. The new site has an improved order-management system: customers can now provide basic information on-line for their
pastry requests. They can also buy directly on line, send an enquiry or make a booking. For end-of-year celebrations, this platform has proved to be an effective and successful tool in increasing turn-over and reducing the margin of error by completely computerizing the process. There’s no longer any need to handwrite 200 orders for Christmas log cakes or undergo extreme stress during inventory season. As for customers, they can collect their pastries on the day they have ordered them for with complete confidence.
“We were lucky because we took the time we needed to create a site that would be effective for our needs. We tested it out during its first year and then Covid arrived! That was when everybody started making websites but our site was already up and running and was fully functional.”
This intuitive and user-friendly investment was the key to success for their operation during the most difficult days of the crisis. With the pandemic, the local community, like so many others in Canada, pays more attention to buying locally and now has a flexible way of doing so in complete safety.
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