Our organization, known today under the name Harnois Énergies, was founded in 1958 when Claude Harnois, at the age of 24, seized his chance to launch a business. Ever since, the opportunities have only multiplied.
Claude Harnois began his business in domestic heating oil distribution under the B/A brand. Working alone, he quickly built up a client base and has been supported by faithful collaborators since the 1960s. His wife, Lise Robitaille, has also played a key role in the business from 1960 onward.
Over the years, Claude saw the company continually expand through the services it provided to an ever-growing residential and agricultural clientele. The products sold originally were supplied by B/A, then Gulf and finally Texaco.
The founder sold a portion of his operations (retail heating oil sales) to a cousin. The new company was formed under the name Pétroles Harnois.
The business saw new success with the arrival of the Harnois independent banner. At the time, Claude’s oldest son, Luc, had been a team member for four years and played an important role with his younger brother, Serge. Together, and with continual guidance from the founder, they developed the Harnois and Shell banners (until 1996) in the Lanaudière region. Their sister, Claudine, joined the company in 1991.
The company established its head office and petroleum product supply centre in Saint-Thomas. In 1996, the family-owned business played an important role in what is now known as the “affaire des barils“, which occurred during a price war that was raging across Quebec.
The Harnois family laid the groundwork for what would become its network of corporate convenience stores. The first Le magasin was born, responding to customers’ needs and offering a warm, inviting décor much appreciated by the company’s Quebec clientele.
The company signed an agreement with Imperial Oil and became a distributor for the Esso retail brand in several regions of Quebec. Since then, the company has marketed the Harnois and Esso brands.
The company returned to its roots in July 2006 and acquired Les Pétroles Harnois, specialized in the sale of domestic heating oil. Later, other acquisitions of this sort were also added.
In partnership with Esso, the team intensified activities in the domestic heating oil market as well as in lubrication products. The company became an Esso heating oil distributor and later a distributor of Esso and Mobil™ lubricants.
2009 à 2010
The organization built a distribution centre in Saint-Thomas and began packaging operations while developing a network of sub-distributors.
2011 à 2012
The team acquired businesses in remote regions and established partnerships with Lubri-Expert, Pétroles Delaney and Pétroles Trudel. It also signed commercial agreements with fast-food chains.
Harnois Énergies began marketing its private brand of H-Go brand of products across Canada. While in the process of acquiring Pétroles Porlier Inc. in Sept-Îles, Harnois Énergies opened a rail depot with a two-million-litre fuel capacity in Labrador City.
While continuing its development of the H-Go product line, Harnois Énergiesexpanded its distribution centre bringing the total area to 80,000 ft². During the course of the year, the company signed a partnership with Produits pétroliers Merrill Allard from Charny and concluded a major transaction by acquiring the assets of Les Pétroles Therrien (Pétro-T).
An agreement with Imperial Oil saw Harnois Énergies acquire 36 Esso sites in the metropolitan regions of Montreal and Quebec City.
Harnois Énergies also acquired the clientele of Distributions Pétrolières Therrien and concluded agreements for petroleum product distribution with the Moyenne and Basse Côte Nord hydrocarbon supply trust (la Fiducie pour l’approvisionnement en hydrocarbures des municipalités de la Moyenne et de la Basse-Côte-Nord).
In 2017, Harnois Énergies decided to modernize its digital image: a new corporate website as well as the Harnois Aviation microsite were created.
Harnois Énergies also decided to launch propane distribution services and to install 10 electrical recharging stations for electric cars among its service station network, a first step in developing multi-fuel service stations.
Harnois became a Carburants Avtech key partner, offering great benefits to clients in the aviation industry.
On the eve of its 60th anniversary, Harnois Énergies is extending its presence into new regions of Québec through the acquisition of Pétroles J.G. Poupart in the Montérégie area and Pétroles Turmel in the Eastern Townships. Moreover, Lubri-Expert, a joint venture since 2012 headquartered in Laval, becomes a member of the Harnois Énergies family. There are now 850 employees who contribute to the distribution of more than 2.1 billion litres of fuels, lubricants and complementary products on an annual basis.
After charge stations and automotive propane, it is now hydrogen’s turn to make its entry in Harnois Énergies’s product portfolio. Indeed, the company has combined its efforts with those of the Québec government and Toyota to announce a first multi-energy station in Québec City that will begin operations early in 2019.
Harnois Énergies has choosen the name Proxi to consolidate all of its convenience store banners (Le magasin, Marché Express, Quali-T, Le dépanneur and Proxi in the Quebec City area) under a single identity. This new brand will have the undeniable advantage of standardization. Customers can count on seeing the same products, specials and displays at all sites. In addition, the new image will make it easier to penetrate the English-speaking market. From now on, there will be one banner and one name on everyone’s lips—Proxi!
In 2020, Harnois Énergies is extending its presence with the acquisition of Propane Monin located in Centre-du-Québec. The company launches the Proxi Extra loyalty program including a mobile application. This new feature allows customers to benefits from many advantages on different products throughout our convenience network.Harnois Énergies continues its involvement in many social causes. Therefore, the company became a proud partner of the Bleu Blanc Bouge ice rinks in Joliette and Val d’Or for the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.
Since we care about environmental issues, Harnois Énergies is laying the foundations for increasing its sustainable development plan, by implementing new greener initiatives within the company (recycling, compost, diesel exhaust fluid, windshield washer in bulk, etc.). The AFS Executive division launches is newly renovated FBO area in Quebec. This FBO area will offer a multitude of high-end aviation services in health and safety environment.