The roots of Trudeau can be traced to The General Bazaar Company, an importer of housewares & giftware, founded in Montreal by two French Merchants: the Baron Louis de la Polinière and the Count Jean de Plan de Sieyès. They hire as Manager Mr. Joseph-Raoul Genin and as Accountant Mr. Joseph-Arthur Trudeau.
Joseph-Arthur Trudeau is ambitious, and he wants the company to be successful, which is why he decided to study commerce at the Catholic Commercial Academy during the school year 1891-1892.
Joseph-Raoul Genin's and Joseph-Arthur Trudeau become proprietors and carry on the business under the name Genin, Trudeau & Cie Limitée. Upon Mr. Genin's death in 1919, Mr. Trudeau became President.
J.-Arthur Trudeau invests his heart and soul in his business. The focus is initially on the distribution of imported articles such as smoker's accessories as well as religious articles. Soon after Genin,Trudeau diversifies its activity by manufacturing its own pipes out of briar imported from Saint-Claude, France, and by stamping religious medals in his own small basement workshop. Genin, Trudeau occupies then a lovely building near the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal.
Two of J.-Arthur's sons, Charles-Auguste Trudeau and Paul C. Trudeau, join their father in the family business. Charles-Auguste will serve more than 30 years at Genin,Trudeau working as a Sales Representative in Ontario.
Paul C., a Lieutenant-colonel with the Fusilliers Mont-Royal Regiment, assumes the Presidency of the Company when he receives his discharge from the Canadian Army. He will remain in this position until his death in 1961.
This second generation of Trudeaus put a great deal of effort in developing an extensive distribution network, emphasizing brand name small electrical accessories. They also imported a range of decorative giftware made of crystal from France and from Czechkoslovakia.
Robert L. Trudeau, one of Paul C.'s sons, joins the Company as representative of the Third Generation of Trudeaus. He adapts the business practices developed by his Father and by his Grand-Father to meet the challenges of an evolving marketplace and he turns Genin, Trudeau into a modern dynamic company.
While Genin, Trudeau remains mostly dedicated to selling high quality products, Robert L. Trudeau pushes the company's innovative side, which has always been its hallmark.
The result of his efforts take shape into a successful range called Céramiques de Beauce, a range of kitchen tableware.
Robert Trudeau, always aware of new trends, turns to Europe and to Asia to find new and exciting products. Genin, Trudeau adds new exclusive ranges in particular in housewares and in practical giftware as well as porcelain figurine collectibles.
These new initiatives, combined with the constant growth of the business, soon begin to crowd the building in Old Montreal.
Genin, Trudeau decides to prepare for the future by building a modern Distribution Centre in Longueuil (Boucherville), a few miles outside Montreal on the Trans-Canada Highway. These premises still house today the Company's Head Office. They include a Warehouse, Showrooms, a Graphic Design Studio as well as Offices.
Genin, Trudeau starts to export its products across the world and experiences significant growth in many countries thanks especially to its ranges of Children's Tableware.
Genin, Trudeau opens its own Distribution Center in the U.S.A with a dedicated local Sales Force.
In order to reinforce its leadership position and to demonstrate its 100 year-young vitality, Genin, Trudeau simplifies its brand portfolio and launches at the same time the "Trudeau" and "Home Presence" Brands. The Company creates two organizations: Home Presence and Trudeau Corporation 1889 Inc.
Trudeau doubles the size of its Canadian Distribution Center located in Longueuil near Montreal.
Trudeau doubles the size of its American Distribution Center located in Woodridge (near Chicago) and create a new Enterprise Resource Planning - ERP.
The growth of the company goes on with a second U.S. warehouse expansion in three years. Trudeau increases the capacity of its Woodridge, Illinois warehouse by over 60 percent. The expansion will add 45,000 square feet of space to the existing building, increasing square footage from 71,000 square feet to 116,000 square feet.
Trudeau expands its office and its showroom in Boucherville.
Philippe Trudeau has been officially nominated new president of the 4th generation company.
The new Website has been launched.
Trudeau proudly celebrates its 120th anniversary filled with achievements and innovation.
Robert Trudeau has been nominated in 2009 as the first Canadian Chairman of the International Housewares Association (IHA), based in the USA.
The General Bazaar Company, 1889
Joseph-Arthur Trudeau, 1892
Joseph-Arthur Trudeau, 1919
Genin-Trudeau Building, 1919
Paul C. Trudeau, 1948
The Board of Directors in 1958
Distribution center of Boucherville, 1976
Distribution center of Chicago, 2007
Distribution center of Boucherville, 2007
Philippe Trudeau and Robert Trudeau, 2007
Philippe, Anne-Marie, Paul, Deborah and Robert Trudeau, 2009
Robert Trudeau, 2009