The Gatineau Valley: A fertile ground for business

Editor's Note

This article is sponsored by SADC Vallée-de-la-Gatineau.


Martin Lafrenière, the owner of Menuiserie Lafrenière in Maniwaki, believes in the entrepreneurial vitality of the Gatineau Valley – and that there is always room to add products and services.

“There is room for people to go into business and needs to be met. You can’t be afraid to innovate. Some business operators have no successors, a situation that, in itself, represents a business opportunity,” says Lafrenière, who began his entrepreneurial journey in 2004 when he opened his business  “I was alone at the beginning, and now there are ten of us working here. The company has grown steadily.”

Commercial contracts propelled the company

Lafrenière, who hails from Ste-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau, previously worked in construction in Ottawa for four years. As soon as an opportunity came along, he returned to his native region. 

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“I missed my area,” he says.

 After working in a cutting department in a hardware store, the idea crossed his mind to open his own business. 

“I rented a space, and slowly but surely, I started building bathroom vanities, kitchen cupboards and commercial integrated furnishings. Commercial contracts then propelled me to new heights,” says ​​Lafrenière. “Everything began with the renovations of the Maniwaki Hospital. A contractor from the Upper Laurentians contracted out the integrated furnishings for this project to me, which opened the doors to the commercial market in Mont-Laurier and Rivière-Rouge.” 

Expansion plans

The company’s success can be traced to several factors, such as product quality and adherence to deadlines. “I’d also add that the spirit of collaboration with contractors ranks right up there. It’s an element that makes us stand out and it’s in our DNA,” he says. “If we can help, we will. That’s what got us out of our own backyard and landing contracts from elsewhere.”

The operations of Menuiserie Lafrenière are centred in a 5,500 sq. ft. production shop in Maniwaki. In the coming months, Lafrenière intends to rent a building to expand to 9,000 sq. ft. In fact, he always has expansion projects in mind, which will enable him to grow in the future.

Soon serving the neighboring market

Company growth hinges on customer satisfaction. Word-of-mouth has also landed him offers for contracts in Gatineau. “I still don’t have the structure in place to meet that demand. But, in the next two years, I am planning on getting into that new market because demand is certainly there,” he says.

One thing is for certain, the operations will always remain in Maniwaki. “Quality of life is different in the country, and the stress is not the same. Our region has everything we need to prosper. We can be successful in business,” he added.

More entrepreneurs invest in the Gatineau Valley!


The Gatineau Valley provides several business opportunities for acquisitions, partnerships, new outlets or business launches. Want to know more visit:

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