Et si la beauté rendait heureux? (What if beauty made you happy?)
This is the title of the French written book and the conviction shared by architect Pierre Thibault and journalist François Cardinal, a conviction that Claudie Brassard, Founder of Nos Cabanes, believes in and embodies through her product.
Design is an integral part of our daily lives, whether we are aware of it or not. It is unequivocally essential to the diverse experiences we seek and live. Moreover, it is increasingly part of sustainable development and a more mindful lifestyle.
Everyday life is much better through what’s beautiful, what’s good and what’s durable. And this is the example that Nos Cabanes personifies with its beautiful maple syrup bottles that tell, each in turn, the stories of our regions and our maple groves.
During a meeting around a good cup of coffee at L’Amour du pain bakery in Griffintown, Claudie spoke to us about her journey creating Nos Cabanes’ bottles.
When she set her sight on maple syrup for her new business, Claudie was not trying to create a new product, but rather to put a spotlight on a traditional product she loves. A source of pride for many Quebecers, maple syrup is presented most of the time in a tin that does not allow glimpsing at the beauty of this gold coloured liquid. That's what pushed her to want to highlight it by bottling it in a glass bottle, but not just any bottle!
Claudie embarked on a search that lasted 6 months, to finally find the bottle that reflects the emotion she wants to share through the syrup. She found her bottle during a maple symposium in Quebec City. It is made in Italy and looks like an old milk bottle that evokes a whole ritual!
This was followed by about 4-5 months of work with the agency Polygraph to dress the bottle and give it a meaning. Indeed, the design represents the regions of Quebec, without being a true map of the province, the triangles symbolize the groves, the lithography is simple and refined giving the bottle a contemporary angle. Then, the security seal was added with its choice of colours, sometimes inspired by pantone colours, other times by the producers’ suggestions depending on what best represents their maple. Finally, the name was chosen in collaboration with Nicole Lapierre, a renowned strategist in Quebec, who also contributed to the design of the bottle. By signing off with the name Nos Cabanes, Claudie created a simple, elegant, contemporary brand with a soul that aims to create a positive experience in people’s daily life.
Once the bottle is ready to receive its beautiful golden liquid, all the elements come together to create a kind of treasure hunt, a discovery of Quebec groves that produce the best maple syrup that accompany us in our daily lives; in the morning, in the evening, around a good meal, with family, with friends ... syrup is omnipresent in the lives of Quebecers in general.
Claudie, tell us why you chose to combine design with maple syrup in particular?
I was looking at a packaging project and the syrup came as an evidence. I had a kind of a traditional industry in front of me, even though some of them are now using glass bottles a bit more, more so the maple leaf bottle, but there was no contemporary offer in the market.
I started talking with many people about their use of syrup. People usually put their syrup in what they have on hand, often a plastic container. Glass, on the other hand, is an inert material; it does not transfer taste to food. In addition, brunches are becoming more popular, so I thought about creating a beautiful bottle that marries modernity, thanks to a beautiful brand, and a traditional product that is proudly put on the table. After all, we eat with our eyes and we buy with our eyes.
I also worked for a year with Sylvain Allard, a professor at UQAM and expert in packaging. He has also conducted research that proves that people actually buy with their eyes.
For you as a person, why is design so important?
What is beautiful is nice, be it a dish, a coffee, etc. It makes you happier. A nice cup is something emotional for me, just like tea, it's a moment that is lived, everything is in the experience. I am attracted to beautiful products in beautiful packaging, and when I see good products in a sadder packaging, I want to change them!
Design must be simple, uncluttered, with an attention for details. And this design, which often presents the product through the packaging, gives more value to the product itself, it comes to raise the product. And for maple syrup, it's a bit like olive oil presented in beautiful bottles.
Is there a link between design and local buying?
Design is a driving force to value local buying. People are more and more turned to what’s beautiful, to products made locally, and a beautiful design promotes local.
Indeed, we see more and more beautiful local products, and design is one of the ways to value and put them under the spotlight.
As for the bottles of Nos Cabanes, they can be reused in different ways, and this brings a more sustainable side that goes very well with local buying and design.
As an example, this beautiful bottle signed Nos Cabanes can be refilled with syrup, it can serve as a bottle of water, a container to put fresh juice, as a vase, as a candle holder, and the possibilities are endless; so get creative!
The bottles of Nos Cabanes won 3 prizes for their design in 2018:
Discover the latest origins in store.
Recipe suggestion with maple syrup: Granola and matcha or coconut flakes energy balls