We Felt Like It Was Our New Home 

How a couple from France came to Bathurst and opened an organic market

On an overcast Thursday morning, I walked down Main Street and, for the first time, stepped into Bio&Co Market to have a discussion with co-owner Vanessa Hyppolite. 

Bio&Co is an organic market filled with everything from pasta, rice, and flour, to deodorant and cleaning supplies. It’s a comfortable spot, with a nice healthy and relaxed vibe, situated in the heart of downtown Bathurst. 

I spoke to Vanessa about her journey to Bathurst, and what led her and her husband to the decision to come to New Brunswick and start their own business.

“We’re from France with family in Haiti as well. My husband and I knew we didn’t want to stay in France, that we wanted something different, and we wanted to learn English,” says Vanessa.

After meeting with the embassy in France, Vanessa and her husband, Rémy, found out that New Brunswick was looking for French-speaking newcomers, and that’s when the journey began.

“Bathurst wasn’t our first choice, it was Moncton,” says Vanessa, “but once we arrived in Moncton, we realized we didn’t care for it, and then came to Bathurst. One look at the waterfront and we knew that this is where we wanted to stay.”

In France, Vanessa worked in administration, but upon arriving in Bathurst, she realized she wanted to do something different. This led her to attending CCNB and becoming a nurse. Her husband works as a social worker, and Vanessa says that owning a business wasn’t part of the original plan.

“In France, we shopped for a lot of organic products. I had health issues as a child, which meant I needed a new diet, and I also needed to change the chemical products I was using. When we first moved here, there was an organic shop in Petit Rocher, and once that closed, we thought maybe we should open our own.”

Now, the couple are celebrating two and half years in business, and despite opening their market during COVID, the future of Bio&Co is looking bright.

With almost a decade in our region, I took a minute to ask Vanessa, “What is it about the Bathurst area that you love and that makes you want to stay?”

“We immediately felt like this was our home,” she says. “People welcomed us and were curious about our story. We love it here.”

These are stories that make The Northern Heat Report so special. Stories of newcomers coming to our region to not only become a nurse and social worker, but to open up a business filled with organic and chemical-free products that Bathurst did not previously have. 

Vanessa and Rémy bring so much positivity to the region, and we’re thankful to have them here.

Bio&Co Market is on 175 Main Street, and you can reach them on Facebook, by phone at 506-252-1625, or by dropping by and saying hello.

Again, we thank our followers for joining us on our journey of highlighting the positivity in our region, and we thank Vanessa for taking the time to speak with us.

This is The Northern Heat Report where people come to listen to the stories that have not been discovered yet.