Chico: A Quebec company from head to tail!

Every June, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day reminds us of what it means to be proudly ‘’Québécois’’, Chico is no exception! Quebec and its people (and pets!) have been at the heart of everything we do for 37 years now. So, in the interest of celebrating our “thoroughly ‘’Québécois’’” identity, we wanted to share more about our company’s history ( its Montreal origins) and our favourite Quebec products. 

The first Chico neighbourhood pet stores

Pierre Charbonneau has been an animal lover and natural entrepreneur since childhood. His first business? A modest grooming salon in an unused area of his father-in-law’s building. 

In 1982, Michel Joly, Pierre’s brother in law, came to him with a proposition: The two of them should open a pet store. Their vision became a reality a few years later in 1985 when Pierre acquired the first Chico pet store, located on Montreal’s Rue Ontario. In 2007, it was Michel’s turn to open a store, this time on Rue Wellington in Verdun. Then in 2008, José Forest became a partner and subsequently the owner of the store on Rue Masson in Montreal. In the past 15 years, Chico’s neighbourhood pet stores have taken off. The founders are proud to now count more than 75 stores Quebec-wide. 

Mutual support, convenience and family: Chico’s values were inspired by Michel’s family and are still very much at the core of the business today.

Though it is now part of a Canadian group, Chico considers itself a proud Quebec company not only for its local origins, but also for its Varennes head office, the 75 families and entrepreneurs who are now franchisees as well as  the selection of local products in its stores. From coat care to outdoor safety accessories, our locally sourced products are everything you need for a happy and healthy pet.

To keep your pet squeaky clean

Three amazing Eastern Townships companies make great products for a lush coat: Attitude, Purodora and Bleu Lavande. 

Sherbrooke-based Attitude manufactures a complete line of pet grooming products made with natural ingredients. Each shampoo has its own special benefits: 2-in-1 with conditioner, soothing oatmeal, deodorizer and anti-itch. The product that’s a real tail wagger? The Attitude stain odour remover, which gets rid of even your most stubborn pet stains! 

Purodora is a family-owned company also located in Sherbrooke that specializes in odour neutralizers based on its specially developed molecular technology. Their My Furry Best Friend line eliminates and addresses foul odours where at the source (humidity, fabrics, etc.), and also offers hygiene products adapted to your pet’s coat (curly, shaggy or sensitive). 

Bleu Lavande, from Magog, produces biodegradable, vegan and gluten-free pet care products. Made with 99% natural ingredients, their products are designed to respect your pet’s pH balance. While we love all 3 of their offerings (including 2 shampoos), we have a soft spot for the leave-in detangler, which will completely transform your grooming routine. Another innovation: the no-rinse foam shampoo, which is perfect for targeting a specific area or for a quick clean when you’re short on time. 

And while we are on the subject of cleanliness, Chico Litter is made in Saint-Alexis-de-Montcalm and is available in all Chico pet stores. 

To keep your pets well fed 

Our Chico Gourmet line of products is second to none—plus, it is made in 3 local Montérégie towns! The canned food is produced in Acton Vale, the smoked bones in Huntingdon and the grains and dry food in Saint-Hyacinthe. We love these products for their simple goodness and their ability to satisfy even the most refined pet palates.

Another Saint-Hyacinthe company is also making a name for itself: Oven Baked Tradition. Known for making healthy, oven-baked food, the company uses natural ingredients such as fresh meat and good-quality fruits and vegetables. The cherry on top? Like Chico, Oven Baked Tradition is a family-owned business.

To keep them safe 

Zoo&Co, one of Chico’s private labels in Saint-Hyacinthe, produces tie-out cables that are made to withstand the elements. As a bonus: they rotate 360°, so they do not get tangled or pinch your pet’s skin and fur! These tie-outs are made with vinyl-covered galvanized steel cables and nickel-plated zinc carabiners for ultimate strength and durability. 

With so many Quebec products and a resolutely local family history, Chico has an identity that is without a doubt 100% ‘’Québécois’’! The next time you visit your friendly neighbourhood Chico store, do not hesitate to ask our skilled employees about our Québec products! Happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day!