Courchesne Larose, one of the country’s leading distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables, is planning big things to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. Over the next 100 days, a host of activities will be held to mark the occasion in a very special way.
Members of the public will be invited to play a part in the festivities, as the centennial celebrations culminate with a huge event for the whole family on October 5 at Montréal’s Olympic Stadium, where Courchesne Larose and its partners will attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest fruit salad ever assembled.
100 days of festivities
The Courchesne Larose centennial celebrations kicked off on September 8 at a major event bringing together hundreds of the company’s employees—the team that is helping to build the success stories of the next 100 years—along with their families.
On October 17, a tribute will be paid to the late Louis-Charles Routhier, former owner of Courchesne Larose, whose outstanding commitment to society will be recognized by the community organization Je Passe Partout, which is working to reduce the school dropout rate in the borough of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.
The idea of giving back to the community, which is a core company value, will feature prominently in these 100 days of celebrations. On November 5, Courchesne Larose will proudly act as official fruit and vegetable supplier and a major partner of La Grande Tablée, a benefit evening that will see a gourmet meal served to some 700 guests in both Montréal and Québec City, with profits supporting development of La Tablée des Chefs’ cooking education programs for young people.
Next, for the Grande Guignolée des médias on December 6, the extended Courchesne Larose family will join the collective movement to gather food items to help thousands of needy families over the Holidays.
The 100 days of celebrations will wrap up on December 16 with the company’s traditional Holiday party, at which a new employee-development initiative will be launched.
“A century of success doesn’t happen by itself, so it was important for us that these celebrations include all those whose unfailing support and co-operation have played a role in our accomplishments during that time: the members of our outstanding team, along with our loyal partners,” explains Alain Routhier, President, Courchesne Larose.
Besides the activities planned for employees and partners who help ensure the company’s success, the true high point of the celebrations promises to be reached at a special event on October 5, at which the Courchesne Larose team, in collaboration with La Tablée des Chefs, First Fridays, Moisson Montréal, and Loop Juice will try to set an unusual Guinness World Record.
The “Grande Coupe:” 20,000 pounds of fruit for a good cause
Because it’s not every day that a company celebrates 100 years, Courchesne Larose plans to make history with a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest fruit salad ever assembled.
On October 5, members of the public are invited to the Esplanade Sun Life Financial outside Olympic Stadium for the “Grande Coupe”, a one-of-a-kind festive family event, where an enormous fruit salad weighing more than 20,000 pounds will be concocted in an attempt to beat the previous record set in Vienna, Austria, in 2014. The event will be held as part of First Fridays, the largest gathering of food trucks in Canada.
The initiative is also for a good cause: the giant fruit salad will be divided up and distributed to community groups serving Montréal’s neediest citizens, via the Moisson Montréal network and the Tablée des Chefs food recovery program.
A family affair
The history of Courchesne Larose is inseparable from that of the Routhier family: going back to the company’s early years with Raoul Routhier at its helm, family members have contributed significantly to its growth. Courchesne Larose’s impressive development continued under the leadership of Louis-Charles Routhier, and it now distributes fresh, quality fruits and vegetables to every corner of Québec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
“It’s truly impressive looking back at where this great story began, with a small business selling apples and hay in the east end of Montréal, and seeing how we’ve grown into one of the largest fruit and vegetable distributors in the country,” adds Mr. Routhier. “If they were still with us, our father and grandfather would have good reason to be proud!”
A century later, the Courchesne Larose Group employs more than 500 people. The company’s third generation of leaders is now well established, and it is grooming the next generation to take over one day in the future.
“Many wonderful projects await Courchesne Larose over the medium and longer term,” the Routhier brothers added. “And to guide our company in its second century, we’ll be looking to the fourth generation of the Routhier family, who will be called on to assume greater responsibilities in the years to come. We’re not ready to pass on the torch just yet, but we’re already paving the way, to make sure Courchesne Larose continues to write success stories for at least 100 more years!”
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