Rosa-Anna Vachon in front of her wood stove courtesy http://fr.canoe.ca/voyages/sechapper/archives/2010/04/20100430-154657.html.
In 1923, Joseph Vachon and Rosa Anna Giroux, who had worked a Quebec farm for 25 years, purchased LeBlond Bakery. Rosa Anna hoped that the family business would be the incentive to bring her four sons home, who had left for the United States to find work. Within a year, J.A. Vachon et Fils was a true family business.
In 1932, the Jos Louis, a famous round white cake covered in chocolate icing, debuted. Within four years, nearly all of Quebec enjoyed Rosa Anna's little cakes. In 1937, Vachon expanded into Ontario as well as the Maritimes, flying in the face of the Great Depression. The next year, Joseph Vachon passed away and it fell to Rosa Anna to run the business with her sons.
By 1940, with the business boasting 125 employees and 30 trucks, it stopped making bread and focused exclusively on the cakes. During the Second World War, these cakes were supplied to military bases in Halifax, Vancouver, Nanaimo and even England. At war's end, Rosa-Anna retired and her sons took over the business. By 1947, Vachon had expanded to 250 employees and 70 trucks.
In 1960, J.A. Vachon & Fils changed its name to Vachon Inc. and by the end of the decade, it purchased Lido Biscuits. Twelve hundred employees baked the famous cakes which were delivered in 425 vehicles.
In 1980, the Jos. Louis was joined by Alouette and the Flaky. Three years later, Vachon produced its 10 billionth cake.
In the 1990's, Roger Lacasse wrote Le Reve de Rosa Anna Vachon based on the early years of the Vachon family. In 1999, Vachon merged with Saputo, still producing the same tasty cakes.