Inovaco Ltd., its history
The RONA WAREHOUSE Gatineau is the result of a long climb by the Lacasse family, the current owners, in the realm of selling construction and renovation materials in the Outaouais region.
It all began in 1973 when André Lacasse worked at Hull’s court house and acquired the Materials Aylmer Lucerne Ltd. Formerly located at the corner of Main and Front streets in Aylmer, the business sported the PAL banner in those days. In 1987, the business was relocated to McConnell Road. It has a surface area of 1,250 square meters with a lumber yard outside measuring just over 25,000 square meters. The business belonged to Josée Lacasse, daughter of Mr. André Lacasse, from 1993 to 2004, which was then sold to Martin Lacasse.
In April 1980, Mr. Lacasse acquired Inovatec Build-All on St-René Boulevard in Gatineau. He renamed it Inovaco Materials Ltd., bu as always, it remained under the PAL banner. He benefited from the expansion of Gatineau while targeting the booming construction market of the 1980s.
It was in 1987, following an attempt to sell off its businesses, that Mr. Lacasse became a shareholder of Groupe Rona Inc. under the banner of RONA the Renovator, one year after leaving the PAL group. He chose Groupe Rona Inc. for their leadership in Quebec.
At the end of the decade, Mr. Lacasse began to focus his businesses on the retail market, all the while refusing to abandon the construction market, foreseeing the recession of the 1990s. In December 1991, his son Martin, current owner of the RONA store in Gatineau, joined the company permanently after having becoming a chartered accountant.
In August 1992, after three years of planning, the family attended the opening of the new Rona Renovator on the City Promenade. The store of more than 7,500 square meters paved the way for other big retailers in the area.
In December of 1993, Mr. Lacasse sold his business to son Martin, but only left in December of 1996 to busy himself with his latest acquisition, the Eagle Creek golf course located at Dunrobin just north of Kanata. After several interior renovations over each winter since 1993, the Lacasse family decided to transform their business in the fall of 1996 and join the ranks of the RONA L’ENTREPOT franchise. The expansion took place over the winter months and added over 5,000 square meters for the grand opening of May 15, 1997. Business was ongoing throughout the construction period.
The residential construction market was evolving much more in western Gatineau as opposed to the east, so in 2003, Martin began acquiring land in the Plateau area of the capital. With the help of his sister Josée, he was able to construct a new Rona L'entrepot that opened its doors February 7, 2005. Over 180 jobs were created. Meanwhile, he acquired his sister’s business so she could finally put all her energy in real estate and Martin could focus on retail.
The three stores that make up the the business owned by Martin, whether Aylmer, Gatineau or Plateau, employ more than 500 partners.