Erick Beauséjour and Caroline Blouin with their convenience, gas and car wash team (Photos: Supplied)
If there’s one thing Quebec entrepreneur Erick Beauséjour has learned in the 35 years he’s been involved with his family’s group of gasoline stations, convenience stores and car washes, it’s that quality and innovation pay big dividends.
“We always look for the best equipment and the latest technology,” says Beauséjour, who started out cleaning car tires and wiping rocker panels at his parents’ original car wash—an old rollover system with brushes—at age 13.
Now 48, he is at the helm of a burgeoning business that includes four gas/c-store locations (three with car washes), a fresh-food manufacturing facility and a new grocery store. The company employs more than 180 people in and around Val d’Or, a gold mining and forestry town 500 km northwest of Montreal.
According to Beauséjour, the acquisition and implementation of novel machines, systems and processes that provide top-quality services is a key to their success in a fast-paced retail environment.
“Whether it’s a car wash, client service or cleanliness; innovation and quality help us stand out from the competition,” he says. “We use that same principle in everything we do.”
It’s been that way since 1971 when Beauséjour’s parents, Raymond and Colette, bought and operated a Shell-bannered, self-serve gas station with a two-bay garage (where Raymond worked as a mechanic) and a c-store under the Pinto brand just east of Val d’Or’s downtown core. They quickly added the car wash where their son Erick would later work as a teenager.
“Taking over the family business wasn’t the plan,” he recalls. “But sometimes the future holds surprises.”
In 1994, the family added a second location—a Shell station just west of the downtown on 3rd Avenue, the same cross-town road as the original store—where Beauséjour worked in every position, from cashier to manager.