By Gerald Tracey, The Eganville Reader, November 16, 2021
Barry’s Bay — Spirits were high and an atmosphere of optimism prevailed last week as the owners of St. Francis Herb Farm celebrated the official opening of a new 33,000 square foot plant that will see all production for the company’s herbal remedies products moved from Combermere to Barry’s Bay.
“It brings us all together,” Paul Rivett-Carnac, president and CEO of the company, said. It brings the team together so we’re going to be able to better communicate, collaborate, with space for meetings and space for manufacturing capabilities as well. New equipment is on the way to allow for the expansion of manufacturing.”
St. Francis was a pioneer in Canadian natural herb products and now the company manufactures over 100 herbal health products. The company features organic herbs, craftsmanship and science all while focusing on producing high-quality products.
It was a long journey for a family-owned business which started in a kitchen in Bonnechere Valley and has since grown with sales across Canada, a staff of about 50 and a vision to continue to provide quality herb products to future generations. For Mr. Rivett-Carnac, his wife and partner Kaitlin and their staff Wednesday was also an opportunity to share their vision with the community, local politicians and to share their plans for growing the business in the Madawaska Valley at the new location. The new state-of-the-art building replaces production from several smaller locations in the Combermere area where the company has produced its natural health herbal-based remedies for the past 22 years.
St. Francis Herb Farm was founded by his parents, Monique and Jeremy Rivett-Carnac, 33 years ago. The couple moved from the Vancouver area where they had been involved in herbs for many years to the hamlet of Cormac in Bonnechere Valley Township in 1988. Here, they renovated a summer kitchen in an old farmhouse and from there St. Francis Herb Farm grew and prospered.
“They lived on the land. They grew their own food. They were really driven by a desire to help people, the people around them, with effective high quality plant medicine,” he noted.
Among the guests at the opening were MP Cheryl Gallant and MPP John Yakabuski, (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke) and Madawaska Valley Mayor Kim Love. All three spoke highly of the family and the remarkable growth and progress of their business.