Raising a generation nourished: the story of Distribution Biodirect

Biodirect Distribution was established in 2004 by Lee Bourdon with the goal of rendering accessible to people in the Ottawa/Gatineau area the best possible meats from throughout Quebec into one convenient location.

The history of the development of the company dates back to 1995 when Lee, who was 23 at the time became concerned about food safety and food quality issues that were beginning to become apparent to him at the time. Living alone in a modest home in Aylmer Quebec, the journey began in the Pontiac with Eleanor Heise, who at the time ran a CSA garden/beekeeping operation in Shawville Quebec. Lee learned many valuable lessons and began to realize that in order to run efficiently, market gardens needed to be a certain size and scope and so decided to return to school in agriculture, specializing in horticulture at Macdonald College in Ste Anne de Bellevue.

Beginning in 1997, agriculture and the issues surrounding it became the guiding force of Lee’s time and efforts and while at Macdonald College he was fortunate enough to have predecessors who had built vast amounts of knowledge around sustainable agriculture at the Ecological Agriculture Projects library, built by world renowned scientist, Stuart Hill. Lee ate up this knowledge and put into action his knowledge by working in the field on various organic farms in the Eastern Townships, where biodynamic agriculture has gained a small foothold in the 80’s. Simultaneously, Lee embarked on a personal learning and teaching mission through his work with various organic certification agencies, whose duty was to inspect organic operations. Guided by his mentor Monique Schulz, Lee spent three years touring the province completing hundreds of inspections, all the while still in school.

In 2000, Lee began his own small garlic farm on rented land in the south of Montreal and began dreaming of agriculture as a way to make a living. This short two year stint was cut short by the fact Lee decided to return home to his humble abode in Aylmer Quebec. After a couple of years of travelling to South America in winters to work on farms in the south, Lee was taken aside by a couple of farmers he had met in Quebec and asked if he would like to start marketing their products. With a small investment of $6000, Lee purchased his first refrigerated truck in 2004 and hence began the journey known as Distribution Biodirect, which he still operates to this day.

The journey of Biodirect has become in 2016 a large network of producers and clients and Lee offers a high quality and friendly service to many retailers, caterers and restaurants and well as food processors and individuals. Today Lee is able to offer hundreds of products through his network and offers weekly deliveries to his local clients.

 

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