Les Emballages Carrousel
Packaging products distributor
Primary market: Quebec
Number of employees: 265
President: Brigitte Jalbert
Packaging a winner
The food industry is one of Quebec’s largest employers. So it’s hardly surprising that it has spawned many local suppliers. One such company is Les Emballages Carrousel, which according to its president Brigitte Jalbert, distributes close to 10,000 products, most which target food processors and restaurants. These include utensils, bags, containers as well as paperboard and aluminum packaging.
Jalbert, who began her career by working in photography, communications and other artistic endeavours, never planned to join the company her father Denis founded in the early 1970s. However the wily veteran gradually lured his daughter in by giving her assignments which leveraged her talents, such as designing logos, producing Les Emballages Carrousel’s first catalogue and organizing trade shows.
“I soon got the taste and quickly moved through a series of jobs ranging from customer service to purchasing,” says Jalbert. “In 1997 three employees and I bought the company and we have never looked back.” Jalbert credits her father (who in his late 70s remains active in the business) with Les Emballages Carrousel’s continuing success. “We have always been conservative financially,” said Jalbert. “He took on little debt and grew slowly, a habit we adopted.”
Les Emballages Carrousel’s large 40 to 45 person sales force, its move to lean operational processes and its acquisition of Drummondville Emballages JC (another family business) all contributed to further boosting productivity. In fact integration of the two businesses worked so well, that future acquisitions are a distinct possibility. However Jalbert claims to be unsure as to whether Les Emballages Carrousel will remain in family hands. She has two young daughters in community college, but says it’s too early to see how their interests will play out.
Tellingly though, one is studying art.
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Peter Diekmeyer Communications Inc.