La belle vie sailing – Business Portrait
15 February 2022
Marie-Pier Grenier and Adrien Bernier Nadeau founded La belle vie sailing in Paspébiac, in 2019. Since then, the popularity of their sailing company hasn’t stopped growing. In fact, the couple obtained support from the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs in 2021 to ensure its expansion. On board the Vanamo catamaran docked in Bouillante, Guadeloupe, Marie-Pier answered our questions to let you discover the company and the team of entrepreneurs that she and her spouse make.
A Thumbnail Sketch of the Company
Benefitting from the busy tourist season in the summer, La belle vie sailing offers sailing courses and cruises of 3 to 24 hours with a sleepover and a meal on the Baie des Chaleurs. During the winter, the company offers one-week “sailing holidays” in the Caribbean.
How Does Your Company Stand Out?
According to Marie-Pier, La belle vie sailing is one of the few if not the only businesses in Quebec to offer its services year-round. “It’s our sailing ship, we bring it down to the Caribbean and this makes our company original and unique!” Another distinguishing point: “the fact that we are a couple of entrepreneurs. We are both on board the ship on a full-time basis to offer our services. Our skills and strengths are very complementary.” The couple calls on its uniqueness to offer a personalized client experience, with stayovers and meals on board.
Why Have You Chosen to Become Entrepreneurs?
“I think that it’s the thirties doldrums” says Marie-Pier. We were no longer happy with subway, work, sleep. Right from the start, we wanted to found a company, to build something viable, new, distinctive.” The couple also wanted to travel and discover the world differently. Adrien got the idea for sailing, as he wanted to live his passion. As far as I was concerned, I always dreamed of starting up a business. We both wanted freedom of choice for what we wanted to do. Have decision-making power over our lives and what make us live.”
What did Support From the SADC Give You?
“It allowed us to complete a first phase in the expansion of the company, affirmed Mare-Pier. We obtained financing to purchase a live-in multi-hull catamaran sailing vessel to have room for more clients at the same time and cater to the strong demand. Secondly, we will want to purchase other sailing vessels.”
Tell Us About a Recent Good Move of Which You Are Especially Proud as Entrepreneurs (ex. regarding sustainable development). “We are essentially a company, considering its activities and equipment, which is very ecological, noted Marie-Pier. We use renewable energy on board. We make our own water and electricity independently.” Marie-Pier explained that solar panels allow developing energy which is stored in their batteries to power lights, navigation instruments, etc. These batteries also power the desalination device that pumps in seawater, withdraws particles, including salt, and pumps out soft drinking water.
“In the last months, we managed to recruit a major partner: Volthium, a Quebec company. Encouraging local companies is also part of our values! This company develops lithium batteries. This is more ecological than acid batteries and much more durable over time. »
What Advice Would You Give a Person Who Wants to Start Up in Business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs Region?
“Do not hesitate to contact other businesses and organizations in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region” mentioned Marie-Pier. “It is necessary to develop links and partnerships with locals. With strength in numbers, we can go farther and faster!”
About Adrien and Marie-Pier
Originally from Lévis, Marie-Pier Grenier was a business advisor and management consultant in addition to having worked for 10 years in the restaurant business. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA in international management, she is in charge of customer service for La belle vie sailing.
Originally from Carleton-sur-Mer, Adrien Bernier Nadeau learned navigation on his parent’s sailing vessel in the Baie-des-Chaleurs. Trained as a mechanical engineer, he has acquired several licences and certificates which allowed him to become a captain and sailing instructor for La belle vie sailing.