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In St-Paul-D’Abbotsford: open sour cherries.

Unifruits: the time of cherries

3ième génération d'agriculteur Unifruits St-Paul d'Abbotsford


It is with heavy hearts but full of hope that Jean-Marc Bouchard and Gilberte Gagnon, already pregnant with Richard their third child, leave their native Lac St-Jean to come and settle in St-Paul d'Abbotsford. They had just acquired a traditional farm from this era made up of cows, hens, pigs as well as a few acres of fruit trees and strawberries. Welcomed with open arms by caring neighbors, both were involved in their community.

famille Bouchard Unifruits

In the summer of 1976, Richard Bouchard newly married to Jocelyne Benoit acquired an ancestral land located a few hundred meters from the family farm. The house and farm buildings are on the grounds of a former seigneury and today form part of the historical heritage of the village of St-Paul d'Abbotsford.

The family grew with the birth of three children: Nancy, Geneviève and Mathieu. They took ownership of the family farm in 1986 where Gilberte and Jean Marc will continue to live, surrounded by family until the end of their days.

The cultivation of strawberries and apples remains at the center of the agricultural activities of the family which nevertheless tries different crops. Like raspberries, asparagus, onions, sunflowers ... and of course the famous sour cherries that were planted in 2010 by Mathieu and his parents in order to diversify their activities and ensure a succession. Mathieu and Nancy are thus the 1st generation to integrate this culture on the land of their parents.

Nancy et Mathieu Bouchard co-fondateur d'Unifruits

They had to be visionaries and determined to want to devote their time to sour cherries. Little was known by the public and Quebec farmers community. Given the lack of expertise in growing this emerging fruit in Quebec, they had to develop their own method, test after test, based on their knowledge of strawberry and apple cultivation.

Then, in the spring of 2015, a golden opportunity appeared. The owner of La Cerisaie le Temps des Cerises offered them the opportunity to buy the Croque Cerise brand. There was no question of missing out on such a possibility! This is how brother and sister and their respective spouses, Pascale and Keven, acquired the Croque Cerise trademark.

Shortly after, they created the company Unifruits which would integrate the production of Croque Cerise products directly on their farm in St-Paul d'Abbotsford and specialize in the production, distribution and processing of fruits such as: sour cherries, raspberries and blueberries.

Today the local family business is recognized for its quality products which are now offered in over 50 retail stores in Quebec. Unifruits wants more people to discover sour cherries, which is essentially a true superfood thanks to its high content of antioxidants. Because this delicious little fruit is an ally for your health! After all, doesn't the proverb say: A cherry a day keeps the doctor away!

Unifruits is one of the few compagnies in Quebec that produce and process sour cherries. The location benefits from an ideal climate for the cultivation of sour cherries: a dry and well-drained soil thanks to the ingenious Mathieu who has developed irrigation equipment against frost similar to those used for strawberries.