Friday, May 25, 2007

Cereal Entrepreneurs

Congratulations to Geneviève Gagnon, owner of La fourmi bionique Inc., which won the 2007 National Best Business Award at last night’s gala awards banquet of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF).
LFB manufactures handcrafted granola blends containing natural and organic ingredients. They are distributed to retail and high-profile institutional markets, including some of the most prestigious hotels in Québec, as well as the Ritz Paris hotel.
In her acceptance speech, Geneviève (at right, we think) thanked her twin sister, Valérie Anne, for her support and inspiration. describes the company and its products this way: “the finest organic granola cereals and scooby snacks this side of the Gatineau. A quintessentially local operation initially launched out of Geneviève’s apartment—involving months of painstaking research developing the tastiest, healthiest, organic granola one could ever hope to ingest—la Fourmi Bionique has since grown to the point where the sisters’ products are now widely available 'partout au Quebec.'”
CYBF is a non-profit association that provides loans and mentoring services for qualified young entrepreneurs (under 35). Last night’s awards event recognized the top businesses from each province. They’re an eclectic bunch, including a Gastown bar, a book-publisher from Alberta, an Ontario giftware wholesaler, a first-aid training firm from New Brunswick, a Nova Scotia company that helps people sell stuff on eBay, and a Saskatoon firm that provides a swimming pool for dogs, for exercise and post-surgical rehab.
Other award winners last night were all-star entrepreneurs Rob McEwen, CEO of US Gold Corp. and Lexam Explorations Inc., and best known for growing Goldcorp into a world-class producer of shiny metal; and the much-lauded Clive Beddoe, CEO of WestJet. They each received the 2007 CYBF Lifetime Achievement Award, “for their outstanding contributions to the entrepreneurial spirit of Canadians.”
Here are the regional winners:
Six Acres, Vancouver
Focused Student, Calgary
Bay's Waterpaws Canine Aquatic Center, Saskatoon
Harmony Naturopathic Health, Winnipeg
Kerri'd Treasures Unique Gifts, Toronto
La fourmi bionique Inc., Montreal
HELP Group Management Inc., Saint John
Zold Online Inc., Halifax
Paradise Physiotherapy Ltd., Paradise, Nfld.
Ink Isle, Charlottetown, PEI


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