The #1 Brand
Hertel is the story of a spark of genius. What happens when Roland Arsenault, a practical nurse from Sainte-Foy, has a brilliant idea? Hertel happens. While washing his car, Roland had an epiphany: in order to live to actually live, rather than live to clean, wouldn't it be handy to have a soap that can clean everything, from our car to the windows of our home?
He then contacted a chemist and a specialized firm, and SPLASH! The Hertel Multi is invented.
50 years after its creation in the town of Sainte-Foy, the Hertel brand has 18 cleaning products available in all grocery stores, pharmacies and big-box stores in Quebec. Most products are also disinfectants.
The products have been proudly made in Quebec ever since. Hertel is honored to receive the Fabriqué au Québec certification.
The brand's brilliant reputation was first cultivated in the family garage on a street named… Hertel!
"Many people would come by the house, buy products at the register and give them to their friends and family. It was really by word of mouth that it all started," says Marcel Arsenault, Roland's eleventh child and the man who took over the business in 1977 with his mother, sister and two brothers.
says Marcel Arsenault, Roland's eleventh child and the one who took over the business in 1977 with his mother, sister and two brothers.
In 1984, two years after Roland's death, Hertel cleaning products were found on the shelves of the largest food chains of the day: Steinberg, IGA, Metro, Provigo, Jean Coutu and Woolco, now Walmart. As distribution tripled, renowned spokespeople contributed to the brand's success. Hertel Multi even became "Mon Hertel" for singer and actress Suzanne Lapointe, who undoubtedly spoke for many Quebecers.
Wash and shine
Roland didn’t live to see his brilliant idea invade the market.
However, it’s still his secret formula that can be found in the multi-purpose household cleaning products, even though Hertel has been owned by the Montreal-based company Lavo since 1999.
Hertel Multi Ylang and Jasmine: still the same recipe, the same smell. No wonder many still call it "Wash and Shine", the slogan that appeared on the old packaging.
In an interview with Le Soleil journalist Alexandra Perron, Marcel Arsenault says, "Every time I go grocery shopping and I pass by Hertel products, I stop. It's a beautiful evolution... It's what we call heritage."