Quebec Dairy Farmers start a wine bar to promote cheese

Housed at Institut de tourisme et d'hotellerie du Quebec, Blanc Bec aims to keep local products on-trend.

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The Quebec dairy producers have teamed up with a local hospitality school to open a bar that showcases local products. 

Blanc Bec, launched this spring in Montreal, is a wine and cocktail bar located on the first floor of Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), an addition to its existing teaching restaurants and teaching hotel. 

One of the ITHQ’s primary missions is to promote Quebec’s gastronomic culture, and doing that with the Quebec dairy farmers association (Les Producteurs de lait du Québec) allows the latter to highlight local cheeses by pairing them with wines and local beers.

Agency Lg2 developed Blanc Bec’s visual identity and name, which references a half-moon logo that recalls a cheese wheel.

“Les Producteurs de lait du Québec have always sought out partnerships to let consumers enjoy our products as sensory experiences,” says Julie Gélinas, the organization’s director of marketing. “The Blanc Bec space is precisely in keeping with this promotional approach.”

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Gelinas tells strategy the bar targets young foodies who crave discovery, and that the locale is the perfect spot to inspire and keep products on-trend. She adds that the young hospitality talent working at Blanc Bec are invaluable assets that promote sales, and bar patrons can enjoy Quebec dairy products in exciting ways that they can easily recreate at home for their guests.

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Geneviève Roy, manager of The Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec’s marketing and web team, says the organization was already looking to modernize its bar space to attract younger clientele. Roy adds the five-year agreement with the Producteurs de lait du Québec is a natural partnership that will let it expand its offering and pursue one of its educational missions, which is to instill a love of Quebec products in students.

As a leading hospitality school, showcasing local products is a commitment that goes far beyond food, Roy notes. “The cheese cellar, the furniture, and even our sommeliers’ aprons were created by talented Quebec designers.”

To get the word out, ITHQ is deploying an integrated PR and ad campaign. This strategy included media relations, social platforms, influencers and content creators, as well as a digital media campaign and local advertising at metro stations and street columns).