Laurentians palm leaves find their way to exotic locales

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The Gazette, montrealgazette.com

The Entrepreneurs: Laurentians palm leaves find their way to exotic locales

Customers in 50 countries buy Quebec firm’s product

By Paul Delean, The Gazette

ST-SAUVEUR — When you envision palm leaves, are you picturing yourself somewhere in the Laurentians?

Didn’t think so.

They can be found here, though, in vast quantities.

A Quebec company called Palmex, based in Saint-Sauveur, has become an unlikely world leader in the production of synthetic palm leaves, a roof staple now in exotic locations around the world.

“We’re in 50 countries at last count. Theme parks and four- and five-star oceanside hotels are our major clients,” said Richard Maillé, co-founder of the company, which has been around 10 years, employs 12 people and generates annual sales of about $3.5 million.

How exactly does a palm-tree plant come to find a home in the mountainous heart of our winter wonderland?

As you might imagine, it was a particular set of circumstances.

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