Maclean’s Canadian Business Growth List – Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies – Abeilles Busy Bees
Abeilles Busy Bees is now officially part of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies thanks to the Maclean’s Canadian Business annual ranking that was released in the last edition of their world-renoun magazine.
We decided to immortalize this moment by sharing with you the article that was published in the magazine.
Have a great read !
At Busy Bees, we do everything but honey
The company was initially named ‘’Les Abeilles au foyer’’ (Bees at home) by the founder, Nicole Paradis, a former professional network marketer.
In 1989, she identified an important gap in the market for multinational companies; the need to provide personalized kits of products and the lack of suppliers.
The determined entrepreneur decided to place an ad in the newspaper, asking stay-at-home women if they would like to get paid while watching TV.
The ad was successful and enabled her to secure her first contracts with companies that would send her products to be packaged by these women, in the comfort of their homes.
The company quickly grew and transferred its activities to a 2,000-square-foot warehouse and in 1994, to an 11,500-square-foot facility.
In 2014, Patrick Paradis and Johnny Wu, cofounders of Giolong Group, were searching for a contract packager to help complete a project for one of their clients.
Patrick saw the long-term potential of the business and in 2015 he purchased and became CEO of the company now named Abeilles Busy Bees.
Under his leadership, the company evolved towards a rigorous culture of quality which transformed Busy Bees into the most certified contract packager in Canada.
‘’We have elevated the barrier to entry in this industry and changed the rules of the game’’- Patrick Paradis
One of the main valuable lessons learned from 2020 is that the most important resource in a business is Human Capital.
‘’I regularly encourage our management team and staff to reflect on the following question: Have we put in place the right elements to ensure the interest of the future generation in working at Busy Bees?’’
“Over the years, I became increasingly aware of the importance to reinvest profits within the company and in the development of our employees’ skills and well-being.”
Therefore, 95% of the annual profits are reinvested into the growth of the business.
Thanks to the contribution of our employees, we have achieved considerable results:
• Obtained 7 different certifications (BRC grade AA, Costco GFSI Addendum, CFIA, GMP, NHP, DIN, HACCP);
• Won 2 prestigious awards (Prix ESTim Manufacturing Business & Growth 500;
• Purchased a 100,000 square-foot building in Montreal;
• Acquired 2 competitors (Emballages Unipack & Emballages Idéal);
• Invested more than 4.5M$ on equipment and automated processes;
• Integrated SAP software solution.
Today, Busy Bees primary activities are focused on meeting clients contract packaging needs in highly regulated industries, such as : food, beverage, natural health, cosmetic and pharmaceutical.
‘’Wake up call: What used to be good in the past is simply not enough today … we have to be great.’’
Being great today starts with adapting business practices and strategies to Canada’s sustainable development goals. Busy Bees started the process and will be certified by ECOCERT in 2021.
A key factor to any successful entrepreneur’s growth is its network and peers. I was blessed with a mentor, Denis Trubiano, who recognized my potential and encouraged me to pursue higher education. I’m grateful for his contribution and motivation which helped me to graduate from Harvard Business School and to set the foundation of my accomplishments.” — Patrick Paradis
Abeilles Busy Bees understands the importance of choosing the right financial partners and takes this opportunity to thank Desjardins for their support, especially Desjardins Entreprises-Est de Montréal & their General Director, Elyes Chourou.
They were a catalyst in our success in terms of finance, networking opportunities and strategic advice.