Simon LeFrançois’ kombucha business, Fernie Alpine Springs, received exposure last month in francophone communities stretching all the way to Quebec thanks to some Radio-Canada coverage.
The increased exposure came after LeFrançois (born in Sherbrooke, Quebec) was put in touch with a Radio-Canada journalist based in Alberta about francophones having trouble finding places to live in Fernie.
The journalist saw potential in that, and a couple of weeks later came back to Fernie to pursue several different stories, one of those being a video and written piece about Fernie Alpine Springs.
“He was so proud and happy that a francophone was starting this in Fernie, he decided to push it to his boss at the Radio-Canada, and they accepted to pass it on the national broadcast, as it would be in the interest of so many people in the francophone community.”
The video piece appeared on ICI Alberta’s Facebook page on Nov. 29, and a written story also appear on the same date on the Radio-Canada website, both from Tardieu. The written article is titled, in French, “A francophone makes his mark in the Rockies with his homemade kombucha.”
LeFrançois said that in B.C. and Alberta, the piece appeared on the francophone ICI Radio-Canada evening television news.
He thinks it went further than that, though, as people from Quebec were messaging him saying they saw his interview. People in Montreal were telling him that he was popping up on their news.
“I was quite amazed about that. It was quite satisfying to see that some effort can be appreciated by others, because we had quite a lot of likes and visibility.”
He currently sells at about 80 retailers, and has the capacity to reach over 500, he said.
“This is where the expansion needs to kick off this year.”
He plans to hit the road with a truck full of kombucha-filled bottles during the Christmas holiday and make his pitch to potential sellers.
“After all these years, I’m still motivated and passionate about what I’m doing. It’s so great to share something good.”