When my father, Gratien St-Gelais, passed away in July 1999, I made the decision to take over most of his business concerns. He was involved in many different enterprises, including, for nearly 25 years, marketing fir resin. He bought the resin from harvesters in the region and resold it to exporters or to processing plants in Québec.

So, at the beginning of 2000, ably assisted by my spouse, Guylaine Talbot, I took up his fir resin wholesale business under the name Gomme de sapin Robin St-Gelais Enr.

In 2003, thanks to a half-page document published on the Web, we got our first small order from France. We saw this as the perfect chance to test the market for export sales. We had to work fast in order to learn everything necessary to meet our client's expectations. This was the beginning of our experience with exportation, and it brought about a major change in our marketing procedures. After this first overseas order, we began prospecting in the international market. This was so successful that we sold our entire production overseas.

In March 2004, to increase our visibility, we set up our first Web site aimed at harvesters all over eastern Québec and New Brunswick. This Web site had an enormous impact on our visibility.

We were interviewed on the radio by Radio-Canada Matane and an article featuring our business was published in the Businest, an Eastern Québec business journal, as well as in another journal, Vision Terre et Forêt. This exposure allowed us to develop a network of harvesters all over Québec and New Brunswick.

Through extensive research, we are constantly striving to improve the quality of our products and the gum-filtering process. In the fall of 2005, we acquired a pneumatic diaphragm pump for viscous liquids and a filter bag housing. All our equipment is stainless steel, in compliance with US Food and Drug Administration standards.

Our products are being used by some of the biggest names in the industry, and our reputation is growing. We are very optimistic about the future.

Robin St-Gelais was born in October 1962 at Lac-Humqui, Qc. He married Guylaine Talbot, and they have two children, William and Maxime.

In addition to marketing balsam fir gum, Robin St-Gelais has a degree in architectural technology from the Cégep de Rimouski, and is still employed in his profession as a sub-contractor monitoring the delivery of the Société d'habitation du Québec's programs: RénoVillage, ERP, PAD, HASI and SEP over the territories of the MRC de La Matapédia, the MRC de Rimouski-Neigette and the City of Rimouski.

In 1999 Robin St-Gelais, the latest in a long line of businessmen, was named president of Les Immeubles Geva inc., a business which owns a building inventory including commercial buildings, office buildings and a home for seniors.

Robin St-Gelais is also a into the forest products business in the beautiful Matapédia Valley, with 12 wood lots covering a total of nearly 500 hectares where forest operations are planned.

Success doesn't just happen, it comes with hard work.