Everything you need to know about Fondussimo
A proud Quebec company
Where it all began
Where did Fondussimo come from? This fondue pot, with unique and perforated steel baskets, was the very first product patented by Gestion ADCI. Its history is inseparable from that of its founder, a young entrepreneur from Beauce, Quebec (Canada): Dany Bernard.
Bernard has been passionate about machining and design from an early age. He learned the basics of the trade from his father before completing various studies in machining at the Centre Intégré de Mécanique Industrielle de la Chaudière (CIMIQ) in St-Georges from 2006 to 2008. He subsequently obtained a specialization in computer-assisted 3D drawing.
He worked on his own for 10 years. He always knew he wanted to develop a revolutionary product. This is how he decided to devote himself to designing a reinvented fondue pot, a concept he felt had great potential. From the first sketches, the initial prototype saw the light of day in November 2017.
In response to feedback from potential customers, Bernard upgraded this prototype and started manufacturing a first batch of 1500 units. “I had to take $100,000 out of my own pocket all at once to go into production. It was the first time I had invested an amount like that. But I believed in it and I said to myself that I was going to make it through to the end,” he often recalls with a hint of excitement.
And a newborn entrepreneur.
Bernard’s first order hit the market in July 2018, a few months after the birth of his son Thomas. In a few months, the new dad discovered the various implications of his business project and rolled up his sleeves to overcome all the challenges: financing, production, local and international shipping, online sales, inventory management, marketing in all its forms, customer service, etc.
After completing his first order and constantly striving to provide his customers the best fondue experience possible, Bernard collected user feedback to improve his fondue pot once again. The second version featured a more robust ring and lighter baskets, and it went on sale in June 2019.
Over a few months, and thanks to a communication strategy focused on Fondussimo’s great versatility, Bernard and his team managed to sell all the available units in a few months, announcing a stock shortage shortly before Christmas. “I had always wanted to offer recipes, but with the contribution of designer and culinary consultant Héloïse Leclerc, we really took it to the next level. My fondue pot helps you prepare incredible meals, such as hot fajitas or a perfectly cooked paella… you can cook traditional fondue meat as well as ramen, peas or slices of corn!”
In order to support his company’s rapid growth and nurture its expansion in Quebec and beyond, the entrepreneur approached Innocentre, which helped him craft a business plan. He pitched it to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), which enabled him to obtain a strategic loan of $185,000. “I was ecstatic, but at the same time, I realized that I had also incurred this amount in debt. I questioned myself, but in the end, it’s a very valuable economic lever for the growth of my business.”
Carving out a place among the greats
In addition to investing in the creation of a program of enticing exclusive recipes, in 2020 Bernard focused on developing its brand image in collaboration with Filière M. This involved the creation of a new logo, a new website, and a new box: Fondussimo now proudly displays its new colours and the young entrepreneur’s determination to succeed in the big league.
Bernard intends to continue to develop a close relationship with Quebec families who have given him a very warm welcome, while contemplating the international market. “We are confident that foodies around the world will fall for this Quebec-made innovation!”
“My advice to someone who’s thinking about starting a business? Think carefully before you take the plunge, but don’t wait until you have the perfect solution, because it doesn’t exist. A good entrepreneur must create something in the heat of the moment, and adjust their ways of doing things while remaining attentive to their customers.”
As seen in the media
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