Founded in 1928, the Familex company sets up at 1600 De Lorimier Avenue, in the Centre-Sud, in 1943. Specializing primarily in pharmaceutical and household products, the company was also known for its door-to-door sales system employing many representatives. These salespeople travelled across the province, as well as to certain regions of Canada, to offer households a wide range of products.

 

Commemorative brochure published in honour of the founder, following his death in 1958
Familex collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

Roméo Parent is born in Saint-Elphège in 1897, but grows up in Montreal. In 1922, he graduates from the Université de Montréal with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and chemistry. At first a pharmacist, Roméo Parent uses his strong business sense to develop a successful company, which will ensure him a place among the French-Canadian bourgeoisie.

 

Engraving illustrating the building at 1600 De Lorimier Avenue, circa 1958
Roméo Parent. december 30, 1897 – June 13, 1958, Familex collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

The building occupied by Familex from 1943 to 1974 is well-known to motorists who take the Jacques-Cartier bridge; the bridge’s route goes around the building on De Lorimier Avenue.

 

Illustration from a calendar, unknown date
Familex collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

The company produced calendars that it offered to its customers. Some illustrations were playful representations of the work of Familex salespeople.

 

Metal sign of a Familex dealer, unknown date 
Familex collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

Familex products were also available through certain commercial dealers. A few shelves were therefore reserved for the products of this Montreal company.

 

Cover of the book Secrets culinaires Familex, published before 1945
Familex collection,
Écomusée du fier monde

 

In order to promote its food products, Familex offers a cookbook that gives ample place to various goods sold by the company.

 

Some of the desert preparations presented in the book Secrets culinaires Familex, published before 1945
Familex collection,
Écomusée du fier monde

 

Familex food products were aimed at simplifying household tasks.

 

Glass bottles for banana essence and orange syrup, unknown date 
Familex collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

The company also offered artificial flavors to help make certain drinks and deserts.

 

 

Familex also produced various pharmaceutical products in its factory on De Lorimier Avenue. The company offered a wide range of syrups, ointments, and various tablets to soothe minor illnesses.

 

 

 

 

 

Tins for Campro Septol ointment and cold and flu tablets, unknown date 
Familex collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

Glass bottle for furniture and car polish, unknown date 
Familex collection,
Écomusée du fier monde

 

Household products were also an important part of the salesperson’s suitcase.

 

Group of employees working to package products, circa 1953
Journal Familex, 25th anniversary special, 1928-1953, Familex collection, Écomusée du fier monde

 

A large portion of the company’s workforce consisted of women.