A history of passion
It was 1940 when Edmond Bergeron started his own cheese factory using milk supplied by local farmers. In 1954 his sons Raymond and Égide acquired the plant located on Rang des Plaines in Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly. Their company, operating under the name Meuldor, produced cheddar, which it continued doing profitably until the arrival of new regulations, industry consolidation and the creation of cooperatives in 1978. Meuldor was absorbed by Agrinove which today is known as Agropur.
Passionate creative people
Raymond and his wife Colombe Ouellet passed on their passion and know-how to their children Sylvain, Chantal, Mario and Roger. This generation, who’ve expanded the business, continue to pursue their parents’ dream. To do so, they founded Fromagerie Bergeron in 1989. Since no cheddar-making permit was available at the time, they decided to enter a new niche. Starting with the original Dutch recipe for Gouda they developed the unique and distinctive “Bergeron” taste. Fromagerie Bergeron underwent three major phases of expansion in the 2000s in step with market development and ever increasing sales. In 2017, Mario and Roger took over ownership of the family business. Today, a fourth generation of Bergerons has grown up with cheesemaking. Roger’s three sons and Mario’s two daughters and one son all work in the business. The owners are doing everything possible to ensure that the family is behind the continued development of Fromagerie Bergeron.
Partnership with French cheesemaker Fromageries Bel
The family character of Fromagerie Bergeron proved charming to the executives at Fromageries Bel Canada. After much negotiation, in the framework of a licensing arrangement signed with Fromagerie Bergeron, it was agreed that all new production of The Laughing Cow® for the Canadian market would be carried out by La Maison d’affinage Bergeron in Saint-Nicolas, a borough of Lévis on Quebec City’s South Shore. With the agreement, about 24 direct and many indirect jobs were created.
Canadian Gouda Masters
Since its very beginnings in 1989, Fromagerie Bergeron quickly established itself as the Canadian master Gouda maker. Towards the end of the 1980s, Canadian Gouda production was marginal at best. No one in the country was really specializing in this cheese variety. For the Bergerons, it was a chance to stake their claim as leaders in the field with their innovative new recipes. The success attained with Bergeron’s Gouda Classique and its exclusive recipe was evidence that the signature Bergeron method was a hit with Canadian consumers. And because this Gouda was different from traditional Dutch Goudas, it quickly established its own identity, and the company’s Gouda Classique became its Bergeron Classique.
Red wax means Bergeron!
When the Bergerons decided to launch their Gouda in Canada, they elected to protect their product with a red wax coating. By differentiating their cheese in this way, they revolutionized the market, because traditionally only Goudas destined for export were coated. What’s more, the wax normally used as a protective coating was yellow. Since Bergeron has become a national leader in the category, today it’s not surprising that we see the red wax coating as the norm. This perception is largely due to our initial choice of a red coating for our Bergeron Classique.
A win for Bergeron!
Inspired by the success of our Classique, the very first in the line of cheeses we produce today, our master cheesemakers took the original recipe and pushed it further in a bid to develop new varieties: a cheese made with partially-skimmed milk, a cumin-flavoured cheese, a naturally-smoked cheese and even a washed-rind cheese, the acclaimed Fin Renard. To these we added fresh cheeses, whose recipe is so unique it is protected by patent. In collaboration with our R&D team, our master cheesemakers are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting possibilities in cheesemaking. Their mission is to create and innovate, just as the company’s mission is to work every day towards securing its position as a Canadian world leader in cheesemaking. The future looks bright for our company, and all roads ahead remain wide open.