Don't own a hotel? There's still room for you here


Name: Chris Godon, vice-president of sales and marketing for Pascal Hotel Supplies, 1040 Bleury St. 514-875-8550; visit


Name: Chris Godon, vice-president of sales and marketing for Pascal Hotel Supplies, 1040 Bleury St. 514-875-8550; visit

I think you should drop the "Hotel Supplies" part of your name; people might think they have to own a restaurant or a hotel to shop here. You are open to the public, right?

We just added giant "open to the public" signs and we're in the process of turning the building into a more inviting environment.

But your building has graffiti all over it. Don't you feel like you want to keep up with your neighbours? You've got the big, bright Palais des Congrès around the corner and boutique hotels and new condos everywhere - you should do a little upgrading, especially if you want more walk-ins.

It's a work in progress. And you're not the first to comment on the graffiti - city workers clean it off all the time, but it just reappears after a few days.

You should install cameras. That might scare graffitists. So anyway, back to your plan to attract more shoppers. You were saying?

I was saying that hotels and restaurants know us well, but I think this is the type of place that Monsieur and Madame Tout le Monde would love to come to on their lunch break. Lately we've been trying to fill the store with goodies that would interest regular people, not restaurant owners.

Like what?

Like a tiny strawberry slicer or a dip chiller.

Okay, I guess those things are more for personal use than restaurant use. But a friend asked me to check out your blender situation, and you only have three models starting at $140. Something tells me that for small kitchen appliances, people are better off going to Wal-Mart or Canadian Tire.

That depends. Does your girlfriend want to chop wood in her blender? Because these could do that. They're for commercial use. If it's just for light home use, we probably don't have the right blender.

So what's the usual reaction when people walk in here?

I think they're overwhelmed by how much stuff we have. This is literally everything you need to run a restaurant or a home kitchen, from hot water urns to frying pans, hot plates to high chairs, ovens and even mops and ice machines. Oh, and deep fryers, too.

A to Z kitchen supplies - I get it.

We also have beer fridges, keg taps and pizza ovens. People go crazy at our second-floor liquidation. We've got things like ashtrays by the dozen, although no one smokes in restaurants anymore, or Villeroy & Boch chargers for $40.

Some of the second-floor merchandise looks used.

You're right. It's not all new, but some is. We buy lots from restaurants that go bankrupt; we take everything and sell it off. We have Molson terrace umbrellas for $10 or a dozen water glasses for $5.99. My wife loves the second floor. It costs me $200 every time she comes here.

I think a lot of people remember Pascal's hardware store from the 1980s. Does this place have anything to do with the old Pascal's?

Yes, this is that Pascal's. It's all that's left of Montreal's most iconic chain of hardware stores. A little history for you: It was founded in 1903 and went bankrupt in 1990. At one point Pascal's had 26 stores and 3,000 employees. Sydney Pascal ran the hotel and restaurant supply department; it's the only part of the company that survived the bankruptcy. For people who remember Pascal's, it's a little nostalgic to come here.

Are there any Pascal family members around?

None. Sydney Pascal got out almost 10 years ago. There was another owner in between, and now it's owned by Ronald Beaulieu. He's a real estate and restaurant owner.

But he kept the Pascal's name?

Absolutely. The name is a gem.

What are the most popular items?

Pots and pans. People love the giant marmites - the ones that are so big, I could fit into them. And cast iron cookware from Le Cuistot is big, too - it's perfect for Monsieur and Madame Tout le Monde, but definitely not for commercial use.

What's the difference between commercial and consumer quality?

Big chefs in hotel and restaurant kitchens need heavy-duty industrial-capacity utensils. For example, a commercial quality aluminum pot will have a thicker base; it's built to withstand more abuse.

And also, commercial quality things seem less pretty.

That's quite true. The chef at Nuances doesn't care if his spatula is sexy, but maybe you do. That's why we have both commercial and consumer products.

I noticed a lot of new restaurants have IKEA chairs. What do you think about that?

A commercial chair will stand up to more wear and tear than an IKEA chair. All the joints are reinforced, and it's made to be tussled and tossed around and still look nice. We have all the iconic chairs, the French bistro chairs, the wooden bar stools, the banquet hall chairs.

It's like a theatre prop room.

There are theme restaurants out there and we supply them.

You have things that are obviously for commercial use, like a 30-quart mixer, but something like this stainless steel propane range might work in a big kitchen in a private home.

This Southbend range and oven is $3,655. It's got 3,600 BTUs - that means it's super powerful. It might look nice in someone's fancy new kitchen, but it's really not made for private use. You need special insurance to have one of these. And you have to have sprinklers installed and proper insulation. You also need ceramic tiles and a stainless steel backsplash.

Okay, I guess that's a little much for a home. Do all the big restaurants shop here?

We have over 2,500 active accounts. Everyone comes to us, from bakeries to butchers and hotels. Holder, Le Quartier, the casino, they all order from us. They don't usually come in and browse; they call and say, "I need a dozen frying pans." I think that's why the store looks like this, because in the past we were more geared to call-in orders. Now we want to invite people in. Sometimes we make cookies in the Rational oven, as a demonstration to show customers how it works. We'll do it again later this afternoon.

Would the Rational oven work for home use?

Not really. It's $30,000. It's made for caterers and restaurants, when you need to make 50 salmon steaks at the same time. We make cookies for fun, and who wouldn't like to walk into a store that smells like fresh baked cookies?

Maybe someone on a diet. You seem genuinely excited about all this kitchen stuff. When you go to restaurants, are you tempted to check out the wares in the kitchen?

Yes. It drives my wife crazy, but I can't help myself. The first thing I do is flip over the cups to see where they're from, and it just gets worse from there. Kitchens are in my DNA. I can't help it.


Story Tools


Most Popular


More Stories


Also on


The Hummer HX Concept was first seen in 2008.

Hummer's future hinging on H4, H5

It should come as no surprise that Hummer sales are in the dumpster lately. With GM having left the brand to fend for itself during restructuring, year...
  • The week's top stories
  • Contests and Promotions
Our Privacy Statement