Our sugar shack is a family business, and a family tradition. The Bellavance family has been a pillar of the Ste-Cecile-de-Whitton community for six generations: the village was founded in 1882 and Edouard Bellavance (1st generation) settled here in the 1890s. Together with his son Wellie Bellavance (2nd), Edouard built the first sap house in the family maple grove in 1930. Wellie passed it on to son Fernand Bellavance (3rd) and his wife Gisele Lachance, who built the current Cabane à Sucre with their brothers and three sons, Michel, Yves and Yvan (4th) in the mid-1970s. In the spring of 1977, our family first welcomed guests in the new shack for hearty traditional meals and maple taffy on the snow.
Fernand and Gisele’s daughter France (4th generation) took over in 1984 to continue serving meals every spring during sugaring season. In the late 1980s, France also began producing a wide range of traditional savoury and sweet pies, pickled vegetables and fruit preserves, which are now sold across the Eastern Townships throughout the year. Her son Gabriel (5th) takes active part in our seasonal and year-round operations, and will eventually take over, supported by his wife Sindy and their five daughters (6th).
Since 1977, our seating capacity has increased from 40 to 120, but our ‘all you can eat’ menu offers the same delicious staples: crispy salted pork crackling, simmering baked beans, thick slices of ham, soufflé omelette, white potatoes, all served with our homemade breads, salads and pickled vegetables. We continue to produce our own maple syrup, and still use buckets to collect the sap from the trees.