The creative genius of Donald Lapierre made the success of Lapierre equipment.
Son of a dairy and maple syrup producer, Donald was confronted to the maple syrup producers’ concerns in the early 70’s because his father was one of the first to use plastic tubing to collect maple sap. Back then, it was a new concept to use a vacuum pump to increase sap yields. The only releasers available were those used for milking; they worked with electricity only and were not adapted to the maple industry at all. Because of the ineffectiveness of these systems, the idea of a simple and efficient principle came to Donald’s mind. Donald was a mechanics teacher in a high school at the time. The first Lapierre sap releasers prototypes of were made of steel; they were sensible to freezing and not resistant enough for high vacuum. In 1976, Donald had the idea to use plastic as an alternative to metal. This new material gave strength, ease of cleaning and resistance to corrosion to Lapierre sap releasers. It then became the material of choice for this application and is still in use today.
Between 1974 and 1980, thousands of units were manufactured to keep up with an unprecedented boom in the maple syrup industry, which contributed to the recognition and prosperity of our entrepreneur.
Set up in St-Georges de Beauce at his early beginnings from 1972 to 1976 in a modest 12’ X 16’ workshop near his home, Donald quickly faced a lack of space and built premises directly attached to his house in St-Georges, which he used until 1977.
In 1978, he decided to form a corporation; Lapierre Equipment Inc. To carry-on with its expansion, he moved to his native village, St-Ludger de Beauce, and set up a factory in the family farm’s barn. Besides the maple equipment, Donald also manufactured material intended for honey production.
Now in his plant full time, Donald’s mind is always growing new ideas. One of the most rewarding was the invention of an efficient recirculation system to concentrate the maple sap through membranes which he patented in 1987. This system became the core of an entire family of R.O.’s for maple sap. Hundreds and hundreds of units are in operation today.
Sap tanks, water and syrup filters, sap collection systems and a vast array of other products and accessories were added. At the end of the 80’s, Lapierre equipment has become an important player in the maple industry. In 2001, the enterprise had the opportunity to purchase Waterloo-Small, an undeniable leader in the industry with its laser and digital equipment. This company was mostly specialized in maple sap evaporators manufacturing and already very popular for evaporators such as; Hurricane, Turbo, Thunderbolt etc… It also had strong sales and distribution network in Québec, Ontario and USA. As a result, this acquisition made Lapierre Equipment the biggest maple equipment manufacturer of the industry.
Other key events in the company development :
Opening of a distribution center in St-Cyprien (lower Saint-Laurent)
|April 2002||In St-Ludger de Beauce, creation of a new extrusion plant.|
Lapierre Equipment was then able to manufacture it’s own plastic tubing according to the highest quality standards.
This stage was crucial for the company as Lapierre then became a full line of equipment manufacturing enterprise.
|2005||Establishment of Lapierre USA (SWANTON VERMONT)|
With a service and sales counter, a repair workshop as well as a showroom for its equipment, the store offers a complete service to its clientele and strenghtens the presence of Lapierre Equipment in the United States.
|2006||Acquisition of Équipements d’Érablières Gilles Bernard Inc. from St-Gédéon de Beauce. This second manufacturer of maple sap extractors is now part of Les Lapierre Equipment. The range of Bernard’s products is now manufactured at Lapierre plant in St-Ludger.|
|2007||Acquisition of the enterprise Les Spécialités Techniques (Valcourt, Qc) a manufacturer of evaporators since the 70’s which strenghtens even more the presence of the enterprise in Québec.|
In parallel to this dazzling rise in the maple industry, Donald Lapierre sets up the biggest sugar bush of the world in Milan (Quebec Eastern Townships). With more than 140 000 taps, this facility is used as a research and development center for Lapierre Equipment.
With over 20 years of experience in maple sap R.O.'s and many thousands units sold, Lapierre equipment is specialized into water treatment systems for production of drinking water and other industrial and food applications.
We have water treatment systems in operation since many years in Lebel sur Quevillon(Qc), Napierville(Qc), and soon in the city of Rigaud(Qc). Our portefolio also includes several other industrial R.O.’s applications. We can design and fabricate a very performing system according to your specifications.
Donald Lapierre is also the owner of a jeans tailoring manufacture in St-Ludger de Beauce which hires more than fifty employees.
With more than 150 employees now, it is difficult to imagine that Donald Lapierre and his team will stop there. He always has a new idea in his mind. It seems that everything he touches turns into a success because he puts time and effort into everything, moreover, he really puts his heart into it…