Viau

 

In 1867, Charles-Théodore Viau opens a bakery on Sainte-Marie Street (Notre-Dame), at the corner of Wolfe Street. In 1873, his business becomes known as Viau & Frère and specializes in the making of biscuits. Forced to leave Notre-Dame Street, the business sets up on Ontario Street in the city of Maisonneuve in 1907. After being acquired by Dare Foods, biscuit production is relocated to Saint-Lambert and the factory on Ontario Street ceases its activities in 2004.

WhippetTM and other Viau products are registered trademarks of Dare Foods Limited.

 

<b>Viau & Frère factory, Notre-Dame Street, circa 1900.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Viau & Frère factory, Notre-Dame Street, circa 1900.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

A fire destroys the factory on Notre-Dame Street in 1899. It is reconstructed in the same spot.

 

<b>Tinplate biscuit container, circa 1910.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Tinplate biscuit container, circa 1910.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

Biscuits are generally sold in bulk at the beginning of the 20th century. Grocers utilize displays with tinplate containers filled with the different varieties.

 

<b>Metal candy box, circa 1940.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Metal candy box, circa 1940.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

Viau adds chocolates and candies to its range of products. Candy is delivered in metal containers and sold by the pound by merchants.

 

<b>Carton box for Village biscuits, circa 1972.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Carton box for Village biscuits, circa 1972.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

Charles-Théodore Viau makes the Village biscuit as of 1867. A small dry biscuit with a rectangular shape, this product remains a sure bet for the company throughout its history.

 

<b>Carton box for Whippet biscuits, circa 1945.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Carton box for Whippet biscuits, circa 1945.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

In 1927, the company launches a new biscuit called the Whippet. It’s a more economical version of the Empire biscuit, created by Théophile Viau in 1900. The success of this new version is beyond all doubt.

 

<b>Scale, date unknown.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Scale, date unknown.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

Scales are used to weigh biscuits and candy, generally sold in bulk at the beginning of the 20th century.

 

<b>Roller used to cut caramel, circa 1906.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Roller used to cut caramel, circa 1906.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

Before the mechanization of the factory, workers use diverse tools to make candy and other sweets.

 

<b>Wooden box for transporting biscuits, date unknown.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Wooden box for transporting biscuits, date unknown.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

Workers in the factory use wooden boxes to transport the biscuits from one work station to another.

 

<b>Cast iron circular candy mold, circa 1930.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Cast iron circular candy mold, circa 1930.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

Mechanization of the factory speeds up in the 20th century. The business makes use of cutting edge technology.

 

<b>Carton gift-box of assorted chocolates, circa 1955.</b> Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Carton gift-box of assorted chocolates, circa 1955.
Viau collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

The packaging of biscuits, candy and chocolates evolves in the 20th century and sometimes targets special occasions. The name Viau is long associated with a thoughtful gesture.