Floèm: an entrepreneurial journey with boreal roots

Roxane et Frédéric, cofondateurs de Floèm.
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Floèm, reminiscent of poem, is the name of a unique, young Quebec business. While the business is based in Montreal, its soul came into being in the boreal forest, and its mission bloomed as naturally as a flower: to bring the richness of Quebec’s boreal forest to the world. This is the portrait of an entrepreneurial adventure with a unique flavour.

The story of Floèm, a business that specializes in herbal teas and northern aromas, started as a modern-day fairytale. Co-founder Roxane, at the time a CEGEP student, was recovering from a serious concussion after a snowboarding accident. On a trip to Rimouski to visit the family of her boyfriend (and co-founder), she stumbled upon Labrador tea. She remembered that her brother had come across some in the remote regions of the north.

It was a eureka moment, an epiphany. She had never considered starting a business, but she immediately knew she would market this plant, which held so much promise, but which was still unfamiliar to Quebecers.

Une personne cueille de la myrique.

A business is born

In the car on the way home to Montreal, the couple picked a name and knew they had started down the path of entrepreneurship. One week later, they registered the name, and a first order of $2000 was placed.

Picture them canoeing along lakes and rivers, accompanied by their two cats, in search of the precious plant. Modest beginnings, but with an advanced system D (from système D, a French term for resourcefulness) and an iron will.

Other ideas soon germinated. But the road was winding, and there were plenty of challenges along the way, particularly with packaging. For quality and design, they used good old trial and error, with lukewarm results.

But everything was about to change.

A key event

In 2021, an appearance on the show Les Dragons was a turning point. The entrepreneurs had a revelation: the business needed a stronger identity more in line with their mission. A new name (the first was PilKi), new branding, and new packaging followed. The effect was immediate: Floèm was positioned as a dynamic, modern business rooted in nature.

These roots are vital for Roxane and Frédéric, who are as passionate about the outdoors as they are about the need to work from a perspective of sustainable development.

Une variété de tisanes de l'entreprise Floèm.
De la tisane présentée dans une cuillère. Produit de l'entreprise Floèm.

Sustainable development

Every gesture, no matter how small, is seen through the lens of sustainable development. “We never bought protective paper for shipping,” Roxane says proudly. “From the start of our activities, I went around to my neighbours in the industrial park to collect unused paper we could repurpose.”

Environmental responsibility is not just a marketing pitch, but rather a philosophy integrated at each step in their process. From the sustainable harvesting of plants in Quebec forests to thinking about the circular economy, Floèm strives to minimize its environmental impact. Its innovative use of by-products, such as aronia pulp, is testament to this approach.


Today, Floèm has diversified and grown beyond Quebec’s borders. With a line of seven herbal tea blends and new projects in the circular economy, the company is looking to expand into health food supermarkets and beyond.

The business is already making sales elsewhere in Canada, the U.S., France, and Switzerland. “Europe has a more developed herbal tea market than here. And there is a great deal of interest in exotic flavours. Some Michelin star restaurants use our aromatics,” the young entrepreneur says. She will soon be training as a tea sommelier to expand her expertise and innovate in creating her products.

Drawing on her personal experience, Roxane offers invaluable advice to young entrepreneurs: find a balance between thought and action. Don’t wait for perfection to launch a project, but don’t rush ahead eyes closed either. As with a fine herbal tea, balance is key.

Floèm is looking to the future with optimism, despite economic uncertainty. With plans for geographic expansion and product diversification, the business is positioning itself as a key player in high-quality teas and herbal teas, rooted in the values of sustainable development and entrepreneurial creativity. It offers a meaningful example of what it is to be an entrepreneur in the 21st century.

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Thanks to the engagement of invaluable partners: Économie Québec, through its agent Investissement Québec, the Government of Canada, National Bank, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and Fondaction, Evol has a large envelope to support, through conventional loans, businesses with inclusive, diversified ownership that generate positive social and environmental impacts in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG).

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