The Québec maritime Blog
“An ÉCONOMUSÉE® showcases artisans and their trades. The concept allows artisans to open their workshops to the general public so they can share their knowledge and passion and sell products made on the premises.” – from the Artisans at Work Économusée® International Network website
Are you interested in learning about the traditional methods used to make certain items or food products? Be sure to visit our economuseums (Économusées®) during your next vacation in our regions! Here are eight you’ll want to add to your itinerary (plus a bonus site that’s being developed by the Artisans at Work network).
1. Quai des Bulles (soap)
Located at the heart of the village of Kamouraska, in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Quai des Bulles is an artisanal soapmaker specializing in cold process soaps made from rice bran oil as well as natural body-care products. To discover the secrets of making these eco-friendly products, drop by the soap shop and production workshop where you can chat with the artisans and ask for recommendations.
2. Domaine Acer (maple products)
A trip to Québec would be incomplete without trying maple syrup, one of the province’s most popular products. Visit Domaine Acer in Témiscouata, in Bas-Saint-Laurent, to learn how maple sap is turned into syrup as well as alcoholic beverages. This economuseum produces award-winning maple wines and liqueurs!
3. La Vallée de la Framboise (raspberry wine)
You may have heard of the Matapédia Valley, but have you heard of La Vallée de la Framboise (Raspberry Valley)? This economuseum in Val-Brillant, in Gaspésie, invites you to discover how they make their raspberry wines and liqueurs. You can also pick your own berries on site, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, redcurrants and haskap berries.
4. Couleur Chocolat (chocolate)
Still in Gaspésie, but this time in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, enter the world of chocolate with a virtual-reality tour at Couleur Chocolat. Explore behind the scenes to discover the secrets of making their renowned Forestry Chocolates!
5. Atikuss (First Nations crafts)
Atikuss, a boutique and workshop located in Uashat, in Côte-Nord, showcases First Nations know-how. On site, you can admire craftswomen working meticulously to make mukluks and moccasins as well as accessories and other items. Enjoy an authentic experience and a memorable encounter with a First Nations culture!
6. Fromagerie du Pied-de-Vent (cheese)
For answers to all your questions about cheese, visit Fromagerie du Pied-de-Vent in the Îles de la Madeleine! Watch local artisans at work, learn more about cheesemaking from yesterday to today, and discover artisan cheeses made with whole milk from Canadienne cows, the only breed of dairy cattle developed in Canada. These cheeses have an authentic taste from the Islands—see for yourself by sampling them on site!
7. Le Fumoir d’Antan (smoked fish)
Are you intrigued by the idea of a herring smokehouse? Le Fumoir d’Antan invites you to visit the only buildings still used to smoke fish in the traditional way in the Îles de la Madeleine. Enjoy your guide’s colourful stories and admire the sight of thousands of copper-coloured herring hanging inside the smokehouses!
8. La Maison du Potier (pottery)
Still on the Islands, Géraldine and her team will welcome you to La Maison du Potier in Grosse-Île, where they’ll share their knowledge and passion for pottery with you. Watch these artisans at work as they make a wide range of hand-thrown pieces that they then paint using colours and patterns inspired by the Islands. Why not paint your own piece while you’re there?
A new experience coming soon!
Also on the Islands, Grandma’s Table is a culinary space currently being developed in collaboration with the Artisans at Work network that will showcase traditional dishes made by the archipelago’s English-speaking community. Among other things, this space will be used to present recipes and techniques that reflect the culinary identity of the region and to pass on knowledge to visitors and younger generations in an effort to preserve this traditional know-how.
The best way to end your visit to an economuseum is by taking home a selection of the products you’ve just learned so much about! They make great gifts or souvenirs!