Wet, boggy ground may be a gardener’s nightmare, but to Monique and Paul Emile Leger of Beausejour Peat Moss Inc. of Barachois, NB, that brown moss equals green in the bank.
Rising from the ground up, they started their business in 1991, selling peat moss in bulk to only one major supplier in Quebec and having only 2 full-time employees and 3 part-time. At that time, they had no mill to process and bale their crop, and finding wholesalers to carry their product was difficult, but they persevered with their business plan and dream.
The following year, they took a risk and built one small mill and began preparing other fields to produce peat moss. That expansion paid off and in 1999 they built an additional building and started baling their own product.
Today they currently have 4 full-time employees and that number increases to 20-24 during peak season which helps provide much needed employment to their local community. They now sell to major suppliers throughout Ontario and Quebec, as well as to companies located on the US seaboard, from Pennsylvania to Florida. When asked if they were surprised that their business has become as successful as it has, owner Paul Emile Leger says, “I’m really amazed at how well we’ve done in such a short time. That first year was extremely hard, as no one was interested in buying our product due to an overabundance of peat moss in the market at the time. Thankfully that one supplier decided to take a chance on us and the next year additional clients started purchasing from us. We’ve been very fortunate to be able to expand our business due to the cultivation of additional fields in our region. To say I’m happy with the outcome of our business would be an understatement.”
The future continues to look promising for Beausejour Peat Moss Inc. as they are planning on creating and harvesting more local fields within their area in 2012. They might not have found oil on their land, but that brown ‘dirt’ they cultivate is the next best thing.