14 Saint-Antoine Street
The son of Louis Wilbrod Brissette and Elphire Gauthier, Jean-Louis Brissette was born in Saint-Eustache in 1888. The family settled in Sainte-Agathe in 1901. With $129 in his pockets, Jean-Louis started his own soft-drink business in the small shed behind the family home in 1911. The company expanded quickly; in 1916, J.L. Brissette became the first Coca-Cola agent in Canada, while continuing to sell its own in-house flavours.
Brissette had this building built in 1921, and it was enlarged twice. In 1927, he added products from Molson’s Brewery to his distribution operations. Over time, further buildings were added, consolidating sales, administration and warehousing outside the downtown area. In 1966 the head office and warehouse were moved near the train station, on Brissette Street, and in 2017 they relocated once again, to the brand-new business park that also bears the Brissette name.
After Jean-Louis’ death in 1954, other family members continued the work of this great builder. A fourth generation of Brissettes is now involved in the family business, a jewel in Sainte-Agathe’s economic crown.
In 1988, with the plant unable to modernize all of its equipment, J.L. Brissette stopped bottling Coca-Cola products after more than 70 years. The company moved out of the warehouse on Saint-Antoine Street soon afterward, and decided to focus exclusively on product distribution across an extensive territory, which has never stopped growing. The company has been dedicated to the community since its earliest days, with a particular focus on sports, cultural and social events.
Over the years, the building has been occupied by various commercial enterprises and service providers, including the municipal library, during the work in 2017-18 to enlarge its premises in the former post office.