The third generation of the Routhier family owns Courchesne Larose. From left to right: Alain Routhier, Louise Routhier and Michel Routhier. ( Courchesne Larose )

Montreal-based fresh produce distributor Courchesne Larose is planning 100 days of activities to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

The celebration culminates with a public event Oct. 5 at Montréal’s Olympic Stadium, according to a news release, where Courchesne Larose and its partners will attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest fruit salad ever assembled.

The event, called the “Grande Coupe”, will feature an enormous fruit salad weighing more than 20,000 pounds, aiming at besting the previous fruit salad record set in Vienna, Austria, in 2014. The event will be held as part of First Fridays, the largest gathering of food trucks in Canada, according to the release.

The giant fruit salad will be distributed to community groups serving Montréal’s neediest citizens, via the Moisson Montréal network and the Tablée des Chefs food recovery program.

Celebration of years

The release said the Courchesne Larose celebrations began Sept. 8 with an event for company employees.

On Oct. 17, the late Louis-Charles Routhier, former owner of Courchesne Larose, will be recognized by community organization Je Passe Partout for his work to improve the community.

On Nov. 5, Courchesne Larose will be the official fruit and vegetable supplier and a major partner of La Grande Tablée, a benefit where a gourmet meal is served to about 700 guests in both Montréal and Québec City. The profits from the event support development of La Tablée des Chefs’ cooking education programs for young people, according to the release.

On Dec. 6, the extended Courchesne Larose family will help gather food items to help thousands of needy families over the holidays.

The 100 days of celebrations will wrap up on December 16 with the company’s traditional holiday party, at which a new employee development initiative will be launched, according to the release.

“It’s truly impressive looking back at where this great story began, with a small business selling apples and hay in the east end of Montréal, and seeing how we’ve grown into one of the largest fruit and vegetable distributors in the country,” Alain Routhier, president of Courchesne Larose, said in the release.

A century after its founding, the Courchesne Larose Group employs more than 500 people. The company’s third generation of leaders is now well established.

“To guide our company in its second century, we’ll be looking to the fourth generation of the Routhier family, who will be called on to assume greater responsibilities in the years to come,” Routhier said in the release.

 
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