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Our Company > About F&P > History
Fruits & Passion began as an idea dreamed up by Jean Hurteau. He dreamt of creating original, innovative and top-quality body care products infused with fruity fragrances. Along with his wife, France Ménard and brother Guy, he moved into a postage-stamp sized 140 m² office, where they created their first line with the now-famous name of Fruits & Passion. It was an instant hit!
During its first year, the small business grew to support nine employees and an ever-lengthening roster of customers. We are proud of our humble beginnings and the tremendous amount of work it took to get started. We are the fruit of a dream and of passion—the source of our unforgettable name, Fruits & Passion!
During the three years that followed Fruits & Passion’s launch, the small family business worked non-stop. The three partners had tremendous faith in their products, which brimmed with originality, authenticity and distinction. The partners dreamed big and threw themselves fully into their work. They searched tirelessly for new opportunities and jumped at the chance to present their products at countless trade and gift shows throughout Canada and the United States. Package design was of utmost importance, and was always colourful and thoroughly modern. The result? The orders came pouring in!
Demand for the brand began to take off, and the small production line was soon overwhelmed. Fruits & Passion even received an invitation from the Japanese External Trade Organization to participate in a major exhibition in the Land of the Rising Sun. The partners rose to the challenge and ended up taking home an award for most popular product—the first in a long line of achievements, much to the joy of everyone involved.
Word of Fruits & Passion spread quickly, and it soon became a smash hit! Its products, which encouraged relaxation and featured bubbly fragrances that exuded well-being, were growing in popularity. Big-name companies such as Harrod’s of London, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue from New York and Ogilvy in Montreal expressed an interest in carrying Fruits & Passion products in their stores. Although the partners were thrilled, they had to work at breakneck speed to keep up with demand without compromising the quality of their products. As of late 1994 the company had already amassed nearly 1,500 customers in over ten countries, including Canada, the U.S., England, Japan and Tahiti.
In 1995 Galeries Lafayette and La Samaritaine of Paris joined our growing list of customers. We were thrilled! However, selling our products in Paris in no way dampened our enthusiasm for pursuing innovation in Quebec. That same year, another of our biggest dreams came to pass: we opened our very first boutique, specially designed to showcase our products. Freshness, harmony and great looks were all key to the design of the store, which opened on November 16 in Montreal’s Galeries d’Anjou.
The boutique exuded well-being of the body, mind and soul, and featured a unique, harmonious and well appointed decor. The customers’ response was unanimous: they loved it!
To keep up with our ever-growing demand, our staff increased from nine in 1992 to 101 in 1996! Our energy was higher then ever and we were determined to forge ahead. We were unstoppable! In addition to our numerous multibrand customers operating on four continents, we were also running nine boutiques in Quebec and one in Etobicoke, Ontario. What’s more, as part of our mission to constantly innovate, our researchers were working tirelessly to discover natural active ingredients to include in future collections. Because the precious active ingredients live at the heart of plant cells, combing through Mother Nature’s bounty to find the perfect ingredient can be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. We made it our mission to find the best ingredients nature has to offer—and to be sure they are collected with the utmost respect for our planet.
In 1997 twenty-six more boutiques joined the Fruits & Passion family. When you consider that our very first boutique appeared in November 1995, you can imagine how much work we had on our plates! Although the Fruity collection still held a place of honour on our shelves, new additions were under development in our laboratories, including a collection for men, Homme, featuring worldly fragrances. We were also working on Blue, a collection of sunny-scented products jam-packed with vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, and Plantpassion, a care ritual in perfect harmony with nature just for gardeners. More than ever, we showered our customers with joie de vivre!
Just six years after founding Fruits & Passion, we saw our hard work and daring pay off. In December, Fruits & Passion was named one of the 50 best-managed private businesses in Canada. What an incredible gift! It was truly a moment to savour again and again, especially since we took home the same honours the two following years. We are extremely proud of this achievement—although we never let it keep us from asking ourselves how we can improve, continually raising the bar and pushing our research to new frontiers. The cementing of this solid foundation filled us with excitement for the years to come.
In 1999 we outgrew our facilities, so we had a new 5,300 m² building built in Candiac to meet our needs and keep pace with our development! During this same year, we launched more new collections including Berri, an ultra gentle care ritual for babies, and Rose Tea Jasmine Tea, an elegant collection that blends the age-old savoir-faire of artisan-perfumers from Grasse, France with the exotic allure of the Orient. We also put the vital energy of three fundamental elements—plants, the sea and minerals—to work to create another new collection, Eco Spa. And because fruit is an incomparable source of ultra rich bioelements, we also created a special facial collection named Hydra FRUIT. During this same year, Air Canada airlines fell head over heels for our products and decided to use them on their planes—a partnership that lives on today! The turn of the millennium also saw our grand entrance into the dot com era with our very first website, making us one of the first Quebec businesses to offer online shopping.
The year 2000 saw the beginnings of international growth, and we granted our first master license to a group from Taiwan. Of course, this type of expansion meant we needed to hire loads of specialists from a variety of fields. A total of 78 new staff joined our team, for an impressive 315 employees at our head office and in our 57 boutiques. The forecast for the new millennium? Lots of exciting achievements ahead!
In 2001 we launched some very innovative new collections, including Cucina, a line made up of exquisite rituals to infuse kitchens with ambiance and provide sophisticated hand care for chefs. We even went so far as to package our products in containers evoking gourmet food items. Cucina instantly became a fan favourite and was a major factor in our success. It won a number of prizes and awards for its stunning good looks and original ingredients and fragrances. That same year, we also created another major ritual—this time for sleep! Thus the Somnea line was born, featuring essential oils to promote relaxation and sweet dreams. At Fruits & Passion, we take immense pleasure in creating rituals that promote well-being and are totally original.
In 2002 our international development got officially underway. The globalization era was in full swing, and we were thrilled about the world of opportunities open to us. Master licenses were granted to groups in Hong Kong, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. As for new products, we launched an all-new housekeeping line called Art Home. The products are eco-conscious and highly effective, and help protect skin from the undesirable after effects of alkaline products. This collection provides a whole new take on traditional Provence lavender and fuses it with North American know-how and practicality. We also upgraded our online presence with a brand new version of Fruits-passion.com featuring improved navigation and search tools. The design was so impressive that it won an award for the best website in Quebec a year later!
As of late 2002 Fruits & Passion had a total of 70 boutiques and 388 employees.
Highlights from 2003 include the granting of master licenses to partners in France and Switzerland as we continued to grow. However, our head office was filling up, so we needed to expand yet again! Our production, storage and distribution facilities required major expansion. The time to act had come, and so we had the factory enlarged from 5,300 m² to 8,500 m². Another exciting event was the launch of Human. This complete collection was designed to evoke an airy, fresh bamboo forest ideal for both men and women. Year after year, our laboratories continued to put their creativity to good use creating exciting, heady fragrances.
2004 was a banner year for international growth with a number of boutiques opening, including our first store in Paris and another in Seoul, South Korea. Other locations were sprouting up all over: three in France, one in Switzerland, two more in Hong Kong and three in Taiwan. Another master license was also granted to a group in the Philippines. Several boutiques opened in Canada as well. In the midst of all the activity, we also launched two new, irresistible collections. Fans of our ambiance products were treated to Cucina Dolce, a collection featuring Italian aromas with gourmet fragrances like espresso and fresh cream. These deliciously original products netted us two prestigious international awards in Paris (Salon Maison & Objet) and New York (Extracts). The other collection to debut was Influence. This home fragrance exudes fresh bamboo and hibiscus notes, and put a whole new spin on the concept of home fragrance with designer-look packaging.
By the end of 2004, we had grown to 427 employees and 104 boutiques.
Because dogs are man’s best friends, we launched our Hot Dog collection in 2005—an exciting concept with to-die-for design. No stone was left unturned in providing for Spot’s well-being and—of course—his master’s pleasure. What’s more, our experts scoured the globe to find 100% pure essential oils prized for their quality and effectiveness. This research led to the launch of the Aromachologie collection, and we also debuted the Nourishing Collection for the body and hands. Its rich ingredients meet strict standards for sustainable development and are ethically and authentically harvested.
We were also continuing to grow! This year marked the opening of our first boutique in Manila, Philippines, and a number of new locations in France. And that’s not all! Thanks to a fruitful partnership with Hachette Distribution Services North America—a leading name in travel retail—we opened our first travel boutique in Montreal’s Trudeau airport, boosting Fruits & Passion’s international reputation.
Our very first American boutique officially opened its doors in March at the Kierland Commons mall in Scottsdale, Arizona. We opened two new boutiques in Cancun, Mexico, and prepared a Fruits & Passions boutique for takeoff at the Toronto Pearson airport in April. Product-wise, we launched three more collections. Face Care is designed according to skin type using three high performance fruit extracts: pomegranate, acerola cherry and Chardonnay grape. Rose Jasmin Orchid is a collection of floral and contemporary fine fragrances. Last but not least, BÉBÉ is an extra gentle collection designed especially for baby’s delicate skin using organic plant extracts.
During 2006 we undertook a second phase of expansion, adding an additional 2,700 m² to our facilities. Due to our steady growth, our head office has doubled to over twice its original size.
It’s Fruits & Passion’s 15th birthday! To celebrate this milestone, we treated ourselves to a new logo designed to delight the senses—just like our products! We were thrilled to be a favourite with our loyal clientele, which was still growing steadily. This was also a year for creative growth, and we launched three new product collections. Hair Care features ultra natural formulas chock-full of plant complexes, F/P Homme is a collection with modern sensibilities for the modern man and Baobab Tamanu Buriti is a delightful collection that pays fragrant tribute to the three sacred trees from Africa, Polynesia and Brazil that inspired it.
In 2008 we opened boutiques in a number of North American airports such as J.F. Kennedy (February), Ottawa (September) and Calgary and Indianapolis (November). Now more than ever, our products were truly taking off!
This year we also expanded our Hand & Foot Care collection, adding a Refreshing Ritual and beefing up our Nourishing Collection with new products featuring Argan, an ingredient renowned for its benefits. We also added a Green Tea fragrance to our well-established collection of fine fragrances.
The year ended on a high note with the prestigious Elle Québec and Elle Canada Beauty Grand Prix Awards, where our Radiance Vitaminized Cleansing Mousse took top honours in the “Steal” category for Best Facial Cleanser.
A wave of fantasy washed over Fruits & Passion with the launch of Apple Illusion, Peach Obsession and Mango Evasion, three completely original fragrances that whisk wearers away to a world brimming with extraordinary imagery and scents.
Our St-Denis, Laval and Bayshore boutiques underwent makeovers and received a new trendy, eco-conscious design. We also continued to grow our presence in airports, opening a new boutique in Vancouver (July) and at LaGuardia in New York (September).
For a second year running, our Radiance Vitaminized Cleansing Mousse took home first place in the “Steal” category for Best Facial Cleanser in the Elle Québec and Elle Canada Beauty Grand Prix Awards. Our Buriti Body Scrub was also included in the competition and was named Best Body Scrub.
As of the end of 2009, 475 employees were working at our head office.
Fruits & Passion is continuing its tradition of innovation with a new website that provides an overview of our body care, fragrance, ambiance and Cucina products. The new web site includes full length descriptions of our products and tips from our experts, while making navigation easier.
In November 2010 Fruits & Passion joined Facebook—the most popular social network—and launched its official page in French. Fans can find various promotions, interactive surveys, contests and much more on our page. In less than 24 hours, over 4,000 subscribers became fans of Fruits & Passion!
The year ends on a high note with the prestigious Elle Québec and Elle Canada Beauty Grand Prix Awards. For the third consecutive year, Fruits & Passion wins the Best Facial Cleanser with the Radiance Vitaminized Cleansing Mousse, in the “Steal” category.
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