New beginning

First effort: Cap-de-la-Madeleine

Bonbons Richard

Suzanne Richard, one of Nestor's daughters, decided in 1988 to restart the business in the village of Saint-Louis-de-France, near Cap-de-la-Madeleine. She built a small warehouse and installed equipment a little more specialized than that of the family business which at the time used standard rubber molds, spatulas, cauldrons, gas rings, ladles: ordinary kitchen equipment that had been converted for home-made candy production.

The new company was intended to be an evolution of the first family business, halfway between the craft and the industrial: the processes remained manual, but the organization was already a little more professional. It was this compromise that made this first attempt to take over Bonbons Richard fail: with labor to pay, production costs were too high and the company had to close its doors after only 4 or 5 years of operation.


Robert Richard, the 9th child in the family, was 20 years old when the family business stopped producing candies. After having started his studies in pure sciences while working in a paper mill, Robert left everything to go take his officer course in the army. Having already been accepted as a jet pilot, but concerned about ensuring a better quality of life for his young family than what was offered to him, Robert left the army to finish his college studies in pure sciences. Having developed a passion for electronics, he decided to take his university course in electrical engineering while completing his college education, while working 25 hours a week ... at the King of Radio! He abandoned his studies when his boss offered him management of the store and, in 1981, he bought his first Stéréo-Plus store, a chain he helped set up with his then employer.

At the end of 1993, Robert then owned two Stéréo-Plus stores as well as two Concepta Informatique stores. At this time, he had no idea that he would play a major role in the future history of Bonbons Richard. A symbolic gesture, however, he bought from his father in 1982 the molds that had been used to make the candies for the family business, not to use them, but to make sure that it remained in the family.

He decides to take over from Bonbons Richard. He bought a building, occupied by a garage at the time, in order to restart the candy business. This time, he decided to do it all again industrially: he did business with various subcontractors who allowed him to embark on this adventure. First, Serge Pagé helped him prepare the recipe, deposit and create a remoulding process; secondly, he dealt with other subcontractors who, among other things, supplied him with huge barrels to cook 100 gallons of sugar.

He began by automating the processes first. In order to be able to fully invest in his new business, he sold his electronics stores. By equipping his new factory with the processes necessary for automation, he was giving himself the means to start the company off on the right foot. He first installed a cooling tunnel, a depositor that he had done manually, then he bought various programming software, the most advanced of which was the Citect software (1997) that he programmed himself to operate, all the factory’s processes. It was by working on a computer that he was able to create all the automatic part of the cooking process that he still uses today.