Love & Business
14 February 2019
First there was romance, then they pursued their entrepreneurial dreams together. Three couples who have successfully mixed love and business share their experiences.
Joined at the hip
Monique and Patrick Vignaud, retailers
“Both from France, born a month apart in 1954, we crossed paths at 11 years old, only to realize 7 years later that we were in love. Married with three kids, we immigrated to Quebec in 1982. Butcher by trade, Patrick worked at specialty butcher shops, while I worked at UQAM as an administrative assistant for 25 years. We followed Patrick’s dream and took the leap in 2008 when we opened Le Coin des gourmets, a specialty grocery store in Otterburn Park.
Our passion for good food brings us together. It was, and still is challenging to see each other from morning to night, even after all these years. Communication, respecting the person, and their ideas, is crucial, but sometimes difficult to apply. Sudden illness and an accident have put us to the test over the years. But when faced with adversity, we became stronger than ever. These incidents revealed the love that we had for each other, at moments when we thought it was fading.
The store keeps us from our family (our sons and grandchildren) a little more than we’d like; but one day, we will retire and enjoy it to the fullest. We lead a crazy life. When I really think about it, together after 45 years of marriage with 10 out of those years joined at the hip, that, is true LOVE!” – Monique Vignaud, co-owner Le Coin des gourmets
On the same page
Dr. Michelle Bernatchez and Dr. François Poirier, chiropractors
“We went to university together. After getting our diplomas, François wanted us to work together, but I resisted. I didn’t want to put all of our eggs in one basket, and be together 24 hours a day. We worked for different practices as associates for 10 years before we finally decided to do it. It was the best decision we could have ever made for our careers and our lives. All the restrictions and challenges we’d encountered as associates disappeared. The business really represents what we stand for, everything is planned out to reflect our vision.” – Michelle Bernatchez, chiropractor and co-owner of Chiro Ste-Rose
“Making decisions is a lot easier. We are always trying to move forward and innovate in every aspect. We don’t have the constraint of negotiating with another associate who has different values, and his own routine.” – François Poirier, chiropractor et co-owner
From one, to family
Marie-Claude Plante and Daniel Juneau, health and safety distributors
“We fell in love while I was working for Daniel’s business, Canado Nacan Équipements. After a few years, I had entrepreneurial fever, and started a distribution business, then another one a few years later. Our 3 businesses live under the same roof. We share the accounting, administrative and shipping resources. We each have our strengths, responsibilities, and tasks within the businesses, and we are currently working on bringing more synergy to the operation to form a group.
We complement each other yet have the same values. As a couple, we reconnect through our hobbies like golf, travelling, and art. It allows us to talk about something other than business. Our entrepreneurial love story is turning into a family venture; one of our sons recently joined us, and the youngest has also shown a strong interest. – Marie-Claude Plante, CPHR, president at Solutions Prox-Secur and Secur-T
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