One family, two economic pillars

By Taylor McClure Special to Brome County News

Sutton Dairy Products Limited was established on June 23, 1945 in Sutton by Harold Boulanger, who was already owner of Lambton Butter Factory, and partners Albert Deslauriers, owner of the Abercorn Creamery, and Mr. Dionne, a dairy industry machinery salesman. It was originally planned to be built in Abercorn, but drainage issues pushed the owners towards Sutton.

Sutton Dairy Products Limited became the center of economic activity in the community. The company bought up various butter and dairy factories in Sutton’s surrounding villages following its establishment.

It specialized in taking the milk from the farmers that they collaborated with and transforming it into butter, powdered milk, and chocolate milk; a product the company became known for. The company purchased a large machine for its transformations and according to Record archives, it cost $200 to install.

By 1946, the company already had more than 50 employees. Mr. Dionne withdrew his partnership and Gérard Gévry, the owner of the Saint-Étienne de Bolton butter factory, joined in.

Eventually, Deslauriers also left the company leaving it in the hands of the Boulanger family; many family members went on to play a key role in operating the company.

The summer months were busy for Sutton Dairy Products, but when winter came around things were slow and layoffs were unavoidable. The Boulanger’ recognized an opportunity to provide their employers with work during the winter months when land came up for sale in the village. François Lévesque, a lawyer and family friend, along with his sons Benoit, Hercule, Réal, and Robert, convinced Boulanger to buy the land that now serves as the site of MONT Sutton.

His sons, with Réal being credited as the visionary behind MONT Sutton, surveyed the land to create the mountain’s ski runs and in 1960 they built the road from the village to the ski hill. That same year the ski chalet was constructed and the land beneath the chairlift, which they called the Sutton Ilk, was cleared. According to Record archives, this was the first time that Quebecers could ski right underneath a chairlift. MONT Sutton officially opened its runs on Dec. 16, 1960.

Sutton Dairy Products thrived for over three decades before the dairy industry in Quebec was hit hard in the 70s. It officially closed its doors in 1980, but the building remained in the hands of the Boulanger family.

It served as the offices for the MONT Sutton ski resort, a garage, and eventually it became a rental space.

The Boulanger family officially sold the creamery in 2018 and today the building serves as a space for the Sutton School of Art, a non-profit organization that supports the empowerment of children in society through the arts.

MONT Sutton remained in the Boulanger family for over 50 years before they sold it in March 2016. It continues to be a viable economic pillar for the local community.







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