A dozen years ago Louis-Martin Jussaume was a schoolboy at École St. Edouard in Knowlton. Today the successful 22-year old entrepreneur flies to China up to ten times a year as part of his innovative furniture design and manufacturing firm, Mobilier Jussaume, which has a piece of its operations in Knowlton.

“We make outdoor furniture for high-end restaurants,” says Louis-Martin, who had returned from a 10-day trip to China. “So far we have done business with about 50 different restaurant chains.”

Louis-Martin, along with his brother Charles, 24, run the business along with their high school friend Charles Hardy, also in his early 20s. The two brothers manage this while juggling university studies. Charles is taking a masters in accounting at the Université de Sherbrooke.

Charles is using his accounting knowledge before many of his classmates have even started work. He manages the finances of the start-up, raising money to finance production and doing the detail work to ensure the clients and the early stage investors are happy.

The locally born Jussaume brothers spend a lot of time in this area since their mother still lives here and they have warehouse space locally.

Mobilier Jussaume designs and manufactures furniture for restaurant chains. The designs are done here by Louis-Martin Jussaume as well as people he hires on contract, and the manufacturing is done in China. Chatting over coffee in Knowlton, Louis-Martin says he plans four more trips to China this year.

“We discovered that restaurant chains compete on concepts and design, for their look. We come up with the design and manufacture it in China, and warehouse our product here in Knowlton,” says Louis Martin. “The average chain would spend a quarter of a million dollars on renovation but now that number has gone up to almost a million. They are looking for ways to reduce costs and get it done quickly. We provide that solution.”

Their business started four years ago, when two of the partners weren’t old enough to vote. At first they did one-off jobs for restaurants and it is only in the last year and half that they have been manufacturing on a large scale. Mobilier Jussaume makes chairs and tables for restaurant patios and interiors. To check out what furniture they do make, click on their website: Mobilierjussaume.com.

One wonders what these three young men, who have accomplished so much so far, might do in the future?