Between warm greys and old yellows

"We used to make layered cakes with red dirt, white clay and dark sand... we made entire meals!" She laughs. "That was by the cliff, at dad's."

Francine grew up in Havre-Aubert, not too far from the Dépanneur Leblanc. She remembers a childhood spent outside, playing in the grass, with the caterpillars and the bumblebees. At home, there were two cats, a dog, a poney, the complete bundle. They were always at sea - on a boat during the summer, and on skates during the winter, hockey sticks included.

La Banquise du Golfe

She studied in visual arts at the Moncton University, a field she picked because of her love for drawing. With her parents, Henry and Isabelle, they then decided to open shop in a former general store that had been dragged all the way to La Grave by Frédéric Landry. They gave a second life to the place, and it's under the name La Banquise du Golfe that they set sail to become some of the very first makers to settle on the now popular strip. The idea of the boutique came from Isabelle, a tough worker with a boundless imagination. Henry saw the adventure as an occasion to work to his own rhythm, without any restriction - and for the true enthusiast that he is, that meant every day of the week! The whole family eventually adopted the schedule, and Francine still lives by it to this day.

Henry creates brass pieces; Isabelle is a seamstress; Francine paints. The boutique is alive with the golden shimmers of freshly polished brass and the soft shades of the sleek sealskin fur. And Francine's paintings, like endless summer ballads, drape the walls of La Banquise along with the warm greys and old yellows.

La Banquise du Golfe
La Banquise du Golfe
La Banquise du Golfe
La Banquise du Golfe
La Banquise du Golfe
La Banquise du Golfe
La Banquise du Golfe

"Everywhere I look, I see my dad, my mom. They were hard workers."

Francine now owns the place and lives in a former school attached to the boutique, another piece of history appended to the general store of old. Caterpillars and bumblebees still captivate her. She feeds the one-eyed cat and the one with a limp and whispers sweet words to them while planning for the next season. Her greatest sources of happiness? Meeting people, starting up a conversation, and living here, surrounded by the soft blue of the summer sky, the burning red of the setting sun, and the subdued halo of the inky nights in La Grave.

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