A zero-waste grocery store: Daring to do business differently

At just 32, Marie-Ève Lecours has managed to develop a thriving, completely green business without sacrificing her quality of life or her daughter's.

In August 2017, Marie-Ève opened Les 3 Fougères in Joliette, giving eco-conscious residents a one-stop grocery store, learning centre and gathering place. "In addition to being a zero-waste store, Les 3 Fougères is a communal space that brings together people who have the same values and the same community spirit. It's not uncommon to see a young mother feeding her baby next to an 80-year-old buying kombucha," says the young entrepreneur.

Perceived by many as an idealist, Marie-Ève had to make a tremendous effort to get her business partners on board for the project. She relied on her passion, her drive, and her powers of persuasion, as well as various local entrepreneurial support programs and organizations like  - This link will open in a new window. Créavenir.

Aside from these strong foundations, what's the secret to her success? It lies in a few simple, ambitious principles.

Walking the talk

Changing the world starts with you. "I embody the change I want to see in the world," says Marie-Ève. She's a model for waste reduction best practices whether she's at home or in her store. She created a bin system that her suppliers have now adopted, she banned plastic, and she's constantly on the lookout for ways to improve.

"Zero-waste is still a new market and while it's most often associated with urban spaces, people are open to it in more rural areas too."

Adding meaning and scope to her project

Marie-Ève's efforts are focused on making her business succeed, of course, but she wants to go further than that, creating a real environmental movement around her. Education is an integral part of her mission. She's using her background in photography to prepare a  - External link. This link will open in a new window. photo report that demystifies and promotes the zero-waste lifestyle.

"Did you know that a plastic straw is used for 20 minutes on average and then takes more than 150 years to decompose?" It really makes you think...

Taking care of others, the planet... and herself!

An enthusiastic activist at heart, Marie-Ève runs her business all by herself. This means she has a lot of flexibility, but also a lot of work, so she reduced her store's hours (Les 3 Fougères is open Wednesday to Saturday), allowing her to strike a "mother-entrepreneur" balance and take time for herself. And it's working: "People want this! They're happy to encourage a local business that's daring to do things differently."