Ever since its founding in 1980, Hichaud Inc., a shoe and boot manufacturer, has primarily employed people with disabilities. As a non-profit organization, Hichaud has no owner and has always been run by a board of directors. As of 2018, Pierre Thibodeau is the chairman of the board.
Hichaud is best known for its Baby Chou shoe brand, which includes everything from crawlers’ shoes for babies to winter boots for older children. The company also subcontracts for other brands specialized in the medical, military and recreational fields.
The Hichaud head office is located on Neuvialle Boulevard in Quebec City, as are its only retail store and one of its manufacturing plants. In March 2018, Hichaud merged with the Centre de sous-traitance de Beauce, an organization that includes two industrial sewing factories in Saint-Georges that are also staffed primarily by people with disabilities. Since this merger, the Hichaud work force has grown to about 140 people. Its products are sold in approximately 20 stores in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, and on the Baby Chou Website.
Leduc, Gilbert. “Hichaud : la survie d’un irréductible” Le Soleil, Groupe Capitales Médias, 12 September 2008, https://www.lesoleil.com/archives/hichaud-la-survie-dun-irreductible-7948b7908bab1eb22915ac6cbef2c484.