The Birth of a healthy snack
Monique was an innkeeper in the Eastern Townships when Leslie John, by his experience in dehydration and agriculture, proposed to Monique to consider fabricating a dehydrated snack, first for their personal use but with the goal to share it with the world. Their strengths combined beautifully for the next steps of this beautiful adventure.
In the spring of 2015, they sell their Inn in Magog to invest full time in this adventure with conviction and confidence.
Resting on a solid customer-experience in the organic food industry, these owners are determined to refine their mission through the commercialization of a well-balanced healthy snack, that has no gluten, that is raw, but especially; that has no additives. To achieve this early on, they are certified organic by Quebec Vrai. After much research, trials and errors, they refine their experience of dehydration under various healthy snack forms.
Throughout the months, as they continue to experience different recipes, they undertake extreme running and hiking expeditions that bring them to question the market’s lack of organic products.
“It hit us during the Saint-Remi walk during the spring of 2015, a walk that took us from Magog to the Gaspe region. We lived first-hand the lack of nutritious snacks in remote areas of Quebec. So much so that we had a hard time finding a good snack during these 925 km” explains Monique Poirier.
A Key-Element of the recipe
Previously, all research and development efforts were put towards a snack that was raw but not dehydrated – an energy ball. However, the realization that the Saint-Remi walk brought was brutal; preservation was too short to assure a profitable commercialization.
“As soon as we returned home, we took to our lab kitchen. Inspired by our long walk, we create RÉMIS, the most vegetable dehydrated snack cracker on the market in North America. A healthy snack to market for hikers and for our expeditions.” says Leslie John Hopper.
Preserving all of the nutrients
The use of dehydration, which allows to maintain a maximum of vegetable nutrients, is key to the recipe. After many tests, research and development, the first blend of healthy snacks is distributed on the market in July 2016; REMIS Tomato-Kale Crackers.
“We had created a healthy vegetable bite that was raw, a popular trend, vegan, without gluten, without milk, nuts or cereals. With a “clean” label, which means without additives, preservers, artificial colours or flavours. A healthy, completely natural transformation” exclaims Leslie John Hopper.
Avril Stores are the first banner to welcome the REMIS. Since, they have made their way to several other natural food stores in the province of Quebec and certain chains such as IGA and Metro.
In the meantime, in 2017, REMIS Beet-Apple Crakers makes its debut and a third blend, Carrot-Pear, will be a new favourite in 2020.
The end of 2018 was a culminating point for 1.2.3. Santé. Employees are added to the modest team (production, sales and communication), and through a growing demand of their products, they left their small lab kitchen of 700 square feet to a new facility of over 6000 square feet, which allows them to increase their capacity by at least 5 times. The production unit is custom-designed to anticipate the rapid growth.
New more performing equipment is integrated to the process to improve fabrication (raw material arrival, transformation, storage, order preparation, delivery), including the dehydration-chamber units, designed by Leslie John Hopper.
“Today, our objective is to make available to the highest number of people – everywhere on the planet – a read-to-eat healthy snack that is nutritious, gluten-free, and certified organic by Quebec Vrai, certified Kosher by MK.” explains Monique Poirier.
Who is Monique Poirier
Born in the Monteregie on a dairy farm, where food was plentiful but not always well-balanced! The harships of a farm life transmit to Monique perseverance and the desire to always improve on herself. Businesswoman, visionnary, and well-known innkeeper in Magog for over 16 years, she has been able to create, by her training in raw-cooking, a healthy and delicious dining experience for her loyal customers. Her culinary creativity, perseverance, professionalism and personalized approach is rewarded through several prizes including the National Gold given by the Grand Prix du Tourisme Quebec.
Who is Leslie John Hopper
Born in the English-Speaking Montreal Suburb, this multi-faceted man is the creator of all 1.2.3. Santé products. After a short battle against type 2 diabetes, he regained his health through the adoption of the Dr. Barry Sears approach to a well-balanced diet. Engineer in life with over 25 years experience in the air and water balancing world and a great nature-lover, he explores his passions to their fullest by practising organic agriculture. Leslie John cherishes a dream of crossing Canada on foot with REMI by his side… and his muse!