1993, Chamber of Commerce Award / 2007, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Madawaska Women in Business Network
What started off in a spare bedroom of the paternal house for Carole Beaulieu and her husband Gaëtan in 1984, flourished into Beaulieu Plumbing and Mechanical Inc. the successful business located in Edmundston, NB, presently employing over 80 people. The Beaulieu’s have built a solid reputation for their honesty, respect, and in enjoying what they do. They have lasting relationships with employees, suppliers and the surrounding community. With humble beginnings and a lot of hard work, the Beaulieu family turned their dream off owning a commercial plumbing, heating and ventilation business into a reality.
In the early days, to be an active part of the business, Carole decided to go back to school to take a stenography course. It gave her an understanding of simple accounting and helped her with her receptionist work. Their business eventually began grew, and they were able to hire an employee to do the purchasing.
Then in 1988, they renovated their house in Caron-Brook (a Parish of Clair) against the advice from others—many people felt they would make more of a profit in Edmundston. But, they went ahead with it, wanting to ensure that they had quality time with their two children. As a family person, Carole says, “We never had time to take vacations but we did all go on conventions together. There are not many husband and wife teams!” There they built three offices and a warehouse to do fabrication and in just a few months, their space was too small as they experienced significant growth.
In 1990, they hired an accountant to work part time. But like every job that starts off part-time for the Beaulieu’s, they acquire full-time staff member. In 1995, their son joined the family business, focussing on estimation and in 2001, they moved to their current location in Edmundston. Their daughter also joined the company and helps with Lean Manufacturing, Human Resources and in implementing a safety program. As their children will be the successors, the Beaulieu’s see the importance of “giving them a hand in the business.”
Currently, Carole’s role in the organization is as administrative director. She is involved in all aspects of decision making, in making consultations, in hiring people, negotiating and in building relationships with others.
When asked about the rewards if being a business owner, “I know that what we built came from nothing. It is just like our reputation-people associate us with the positive.” She also adds, “It is a proud feeling that I gained the respect where people ask for my consultation. I can call up anyone and have the ability to make contacts.”
Carole credits her husband by saying, “He couldn’t be doing his job without knowledge and vision. He is a member of all associations and encourages young employees to go back to school and get certification.” He takes in many apprentices, mentors them, provides them with experience and on of his apprentices eventually became a foreman.
As for the future, there are many possibilities in store. Carole says that expansion may be in the forecast and perhaps to add an industrial branch to their current operations.
Carole and her husband won a Chamber of Commerce Award in 1993 and in 2007, Carole was chosen as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by the R.É.F.A.M. (Madawaska Women in Business Network). Carole enjoys spending time with her family and is actively involved in her church.