Serres Dame Nature : Audacity, Environment, and Nordicity

Located in Lac-Saint-Jean, Les Serres Dame Nature have a knack for innovating and doing things differently. Rébéca Rouleau, co-owner, talks about unrelated succession, networking, and the bold initiatives her company has launched over the past 20 years.

“Many think we are a couple, but that’s not true! When the time came to take over my parents’ company, I hired a headhunter to find the ideal business partner, someone with strengths complementary to mine to assist in the succession.” Rébéca Rouleau, co-owner

Rébéca, humorously referring to her associate, Martin Harvey, and the non-traditional management model of her company. This approach seems to have borne fruit: for 21 years, she has co-directed with Martin the incredible expansion of Les Serres Dame Nature, in Saint-Gédéon.

Rébéca Rouleau and Martin Harvey, owners of Les Serres Dame Nature

Trained in agribusiness management at Université Laval, Rébéca is the first to admit that she is not a “numbers person.” Her passion has always been marketing, human resources, communication: in short, everything else! “Martin is a pro in finance, and that’s the nerve center of business! We are super lucky at Dame Nature to have both sides: my proactive and quite fiery side, let’s say… and Martin’s down-to-earth, more Cartesian and thoughtful strength.

I always have lots of ideas and projects, and thankfully he’s there to bring me back to order, sometimes!

“Martin is a pro in finance, and that’s the nerve center of business!”

Rébéca Rouleau

A New Vision

As soon as they formed the duo, they conducted a detailed analysis of their SME and a strategic plan reflecting their vision for the future of Les Serres Dame Nature. A significant overhaul of the business model followed: “The main difference is that my parents focused on wholesale sales in food markets. Martin and I decided to offer an experience directly to people at our location. This allowed us to better control our revenues, instead of giving it to big brands. We really don’t regret it!” explains Rébéca, adding that this approach also allowed them to prioritize quality over quantity.

Les Serres Dames Nature thus equipped themselves with a garden center responsible today for 80% of their turnover. Gradually, they acquired neighboring lands to create a nursery, expanded existing structures, and added landscaping and maintenance services. New companies were also founded: Les Herbes du Lac (2014), then Fleuriste Racine Karé (2016). “They have become important wagons of the Dame Nature locomotive!” estimates Rébéca. “Today, we’re at the stage of refining everything we’ve put in place over the last 15 years.”

Les herbes du Lac nominated at the Gala des grands prix agroalimentaires in the Maxi-Provigo Public Prize category
Les herbes du Lac, available at all Maxi-Provigo grocers in the Lac St-Jean region

Another important decision made by the two managers was to join Passion Jardins in 2007, a network of garden centers located throughout Quebec.

“When we became a garden center, we thought it was an important stepping stone! The coop helped us increase our notoriety and our purchasing power. Also, having a network is so important: I love the exchange and mutual aid,”


Rébéca is also very happy to be part of a network of women entrepreneurs in the sector, with whom she discusses and shares on a private platform; a way to support each other, ask questions, and give advice.

The Future of Dame Nature

Among the main projects Rébéca and Martin are working on is the designation of plants that are adapted to northern conditions and the creation of an associated brand. “We want to develop our expertise and increase our production of plants zoned for Saguenay‒Lac-Saint-Jean, with our short summers and cooler nights.” She explains enthusiastically that the new label will apply to annuals, perennials, and vegetables alike.

Another project that will occupy the managers over the next year is the extension of all the sustainability-focused initiatives of Les Serres Dame Nature. ‘We have already done our CO2 assessment, we compost everything, and we have limited packaging. Now, it’s time to tackle water management. We want to invest to better recover it, use basins and gutters… It’s complex, but it’s close to our heart!”