Champlain Seafood’s “family” business style a recipe for international success

Posted on January 02, 2023 | Sponsored Content | 0 Comments


Lobster production at Cape Bald Packers in Cap Pelé, NB

Created over five years ago, Champlain Seafood brings together eight successful, family-run businesses into one of the world’s largest processors of premium, sustainable, wild-caught lobster and snow crab and purveyors of live lobster from the Canadian Maritimes and American Northeast.

Once competitors, the companies (Captain Dan’s, Cape Bald Packers, Riverside Lobster International, Cheticamp Fisheries, Petit de Grat Packers, Lobsters ‘R’ Us, Boston Lobster Company, and Boston Wholesale Lobster) now work together to share ideas, help each other, and build from their individual experiences. They are harvesting their best practices to become more productive, more efficient, more aligned, and truly synergized. And the results are clear.

Supported by the Champlain Seafood head office in Dieppe, New Brunswick, the companies cater to a long-standing and diverse customer base across a wide range of channels in Canada, the United States, and internationally. Champlain Seafood is well known in the industry for its premium brands, exceptional quality, and customer service.

“Building a family of eight companies of liked-minded people that supports a strong culture of honoring tradition, while finding new ways to grow and innovate as a team is what sets us apart,” says David Saucy, who holds the dual titles of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. “We don’t see differences separating us in the traditional sense you come across in many other places and industries. We see the enormous advantages that come from capitalizing on our similarities and willingness to cooperate for mutual benefit both at home and in the markets where we operate.”

The company recently unveiled its “Stronger Together” strategic direction and guiding principles to employees, developed directly from feedback and interviews collected from employees in all the companies and at all levels.

Alex Marks, who works for lobster processor Captain Dan’s in Richibouctou, N.B., puts the secret of the group’s success this way: “I think places like ours are very important to the communities they are in because they really are the heartbeat of local economies … Where Champlain had merged a bunch of the companies together, it was almost like a profitable start-up … There is a lot of room to grow, and it’s already a pretty successful industry. It will be pretty neat to see where we can take it.”

Indeed, says Rachelle Gagnon, Vice-President of People and Culture, “Our common purpose and culture of family is what unites each company and all of our 1,500-plus employees together and makes Champlain Seafood a truly unique best place to work,” adding: “Champlain Seafood takes an innovative and collaborative approach for wowing partners, employees, and customers and that has always been part of its DNA.”

In fact, the “family” approach involves all the people Champlain relies on every day: Harvesters, front-line talent, managers, administrators, suppliers, local communities, and customers. It also benefits from a diversified workforce that includes more than 600 temporary foreign workers in Maritime communities who work alongside local employees during the fishing seasons. Champlain strongly values a respectful workplace, and that contributes to a welcoming, inclusive, and collaborative work environment for all.

Says Eric DiPietrantonio who works for Boston Lobster Company in South Boston, Massachusetts: “Everybody depends on everybody else. One person will go above and beyond to make sure the other person has everything they need to be successful.”

Adds Gayle Babin of Lobsters ‘R’ Us in Lower L’Ardoise, Nova Scotia: “I have two families, and I’m very lucky with both: I can depend on my own, and I can depend on the team here.”

By partnering and collaborating as a family of companies, Champlain is facing a highly competitive industry “stronger together”. That’s more than just a slogan. The future for all depends on each other.


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