Construction of a new building for the Brome Lake Ducks has started on Centre Road. This edifice will house an enlarged flagship store as well as the offices for all the administrative functions. Since the fire on July 16, 2016, the store and offices have been housed in temporary structures and the employees are anxious and excited to see the new establishment being built.
The store will continue to offer the same duck products, recipes and ingredients to concoct these dishes, as well as various gifts. In addition, there will be a kitchen for food preparation, tasting and demonstration purposes and an interpretation centre. The centre will give visitors a chance to learn more about the breeding, hatching and raising of Pekin ducks and will also be used as a conference room.
According to Brigitte St-Julien, Marketing Director, the company’s image is changing and there will soon be a new logo and different packaging. It wants to encourage tourists to stay in the area and, with this in mind, there will be electrical plugs for the re-charging cars, plenty of parking space and stands for bicycles. Cyclists will be able to leave their car for the day while going off to explore all that the area has to offer. The Duck Farm has been in existence since 1912 and was purchased in October 2005 by Mario Côté and Joe Jurgielewicz. Since 1997 Claude Trottier has been the president and chief operating officer of the fully integrated business. The processing centre in Asbestos has been in operation since November 2016 and with its up-to-date equipment can handle up to four million ducks per year. It is projected to handle a total of three million in 2018. At the present time, the enterprise has a total of 270 employees, with 75 of these being employed in Knowlton.
Sales in Canada count for 80% of the market, with 20% being exported to Japan, Mexico the USA and other countries. Apart from the Knowlton shop, products are sold in supermarkets such as Metro, IGA, Provigo and Costco. The goals of the present administration are to offer an exceptional product, protect the health and well-being of the ducks and to educate the consumer.
It is hoped that the new boutique and interpretation centre will be open before the end of this summer and that employees can move into their new offices shortly afterwards.