The Mercuriades | Almost 70 years old for Marcel Baril

A pillar of Quebec entrepreneurship for almost 70 years, the Témiscabiti company Marcel Baril continues to move, with the opening of a branch in Mont-Laurier. Enough to make its late founder proud, to whom we owe the creation of Mercuriades in 1979. Portrait.

Posted at 1:09 a.m.

Updated at 2:00 p.m.

Well established in Abitibi, Outaouais and northern Ontario, the company specializing in products designed for municipalities (sewers and waterworks), mining companies and forestry companies has a new base in the Laurentians . “A member of the Deschênes Group, of which we are also a part, was half-using its location in Mont-Laurier,” explains Jean-Yves Baril, son of Marcel and president of the company. Since we go there twice a week and have lots of customers there, we asked to occupy the rest of the space. »

In spring 2021, the SME was acquired by the Montreal distributor, due to lack of succession. “François Deschênes has been telling me for 10 to 15 years to let him know when we are ready to sell. We were starting to get old, but it was important for us to keep the company alive in the region and keep the name. »

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Marcel Baril founded the company in 1955 at the age of 26.

A natural

Indeed, it is difficult to ignore the contribution of Marcel Baril, who founded the company in 1955 at the age of 26. “After his commercial studies with the brothers in Berthierville, he worked a little in his father’s general store. »

It wasn’t long before he wanted to stand on his own two feet. My grandfather then offered him an old truck and a warehouse in La Sarre so that he could get started.

Jean-Yves Baril, president of Marcel Baril

It must be said that the young man was a natural. “He was born to do business. At school, he asked the brothers if he could sell soda and chips to the other students. He had bought cases for 24 cents at 12 cents per bottle and he sold them for 15 cents. »

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Marcel Baril (left) and his sons

Years later, Marcel Baril created the first distributor of hardware, plumbing and construction materials in Abitibi. “It was thinking big to think that it was possible in the region. We started in La Sarre and quickly expanded with a clientele in northern French-speaking Ontario and elsewhere in the region. »

The businessman then seized opportunities in the municipal, mining and forestry sectors, before moving his offices to Rouyn-Noranda in 1975 to be closer to the mining sector.


Four years later, he campaigned for the creation of the Mercuriades. “When my father saw the competitions rewarding large businesses, he said to himself that many small businesses all over Quebec would deserve to receive similar praise. He wanted to highlight their successes and innovations. »

When he died in 1993, a family council was organized to plan his succession. “My mother, along with my brothers and sisters, asked me if I was ready to do the job. I imagine he had talked about it with her. He was beginning to plan his retirement. »

Over the past 30 years, the turnover of the Marcel Baril company has increased from 25 million dollars to more than 50 million. “We also doubled the number of employees. There are about a hundred of us. »



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