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Defying the growth model – Modernizing the Boucherie à l'ancienne

boucherie ancienne

How can you innovate when you’re plying one of the oldest trades in the food industry in a company named Boucherie à l'ancienne?  Steve Gorman was able to respond rather brilliantly to that question which, on the face of it, appears contradictory.

With ten or so years’ experience as a butcher apprentice, butcher and manager of a butcher shop, Steve Gorman launched, along with Sylvain St-Jacques, La Boucherie à l’ancienne, back in 2000, when he was 28. Given his constant preoccupation with customer service, the company quickly took off. Over the years, the clientele has grown and became increasingly loyal.

The company is developing its product and service mix to meet customer demand. In 2008, Gorman became the sole owner. At that point, he began reflecting on the future of the butcher shop, what the future would hold in store for him personally and especially how to continue growing this young company that was moving toward a mature phase. Several scenarios were studied: diversification, moving, acquisitions, expansion, and so on. The need for change was abundantly clear, but the company’s growth was hampered by a lack of space.

Major changes transpired in 2015. To meet the demand of an evolving clientele, moves had to be made, and the time had come for choices!  With innovation and growth in mind, la Boucherie à l’ancienne undertook a major expansion of its building and retrofitted its sales area.

The work would enable staff to work more effectively in a more pleasant environment, both of which would enhance the customer experience.  The 12 employees and the owner pooled their efforts to come up with a broader product line in tune with current tastes: fresh meat prepared to customers’ requests, fish and seafood, prepared foods, local products, homemade smoked products, and a mechoui and caterer service.

Right from the time he became an entrepreneur, Gorman developed a business relationship with the Gatineau Valley SADC. He claims that this partner provided him with sound advice and financing (Youth Strategy, Regular Fund, Business Innovation) that was adapted and simplified. He especially appreciated the confidence shown in small businesses and their owners, which clearly characterizes the business climate at SADC.

Gorman believes his butcher shop has a promising future, and its growth can only be achieved through innovation. The current project has already produced results that are being felt, even though everything has not yet been completed.

New challenges lie ahead: finding qualified staff, succession and other innovative projects that are already germinating in the head of the man who started out in business to have an opportunity to invent an operational model and defy conformity.

No doubt that Gorman’s determination and tenacity will keep the company current, in spite of what its name suggests!


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