Alex Bachand and Maxime Chartrand are the dynamic duo behind Montreal in a Box. When they came across a similar product that featured the city of Baltimore, they saw an opportunity to make Montreal into a boxed commodity. So how exactly does one fit this great city into a neat little package? By taking bite-sized pieces of the places, people and food that we love and finding products that represent them.
In anticipation of my own box, I thought of the care packages that parents send to their kids when they go away to overnight camp or to attend school in another city. These boxes are often filled with little trinkets and treats that are only found back at home. As someone who is not from Montreal — or even Quebec, I was curious to find out what a Montrealer considers to be pillars of their hometown. The company offers three boxes to choose from:
They also offer custom boxes in which you can combine 5 of these featured products:
- Chips from Yum Yum Chips
- Apple chips from CroustiPomme
- Shot glass with the habs logo
- Sticker with the habs logo
- Maple syrup
- Maple syrup candies
- Coasters from bars in the city
- A paper bag from St. Viateur Bagels
- Schwartz Steak and Beef Spice
- Poutine gravy mix
- Montreal chicken seasoning
- Hockey puck
The site is clean and minimalist. It only contains information on the products and how to order a box of your own. Fortunately, they have shipped to many places around the world, but you should write to them directly to inquire about shipping outside of the Canada/USA region. There has recently been an overwhelming demand for shipping to France. So the Frenchies out there can stay rest assured that they can have their Montreal fix!
Though the box be little, Alex and Maxime have great aspirations for expanding their business. They currently cater to special events like weddings and they are planning to approach businesses who might want to send boxes to clients or employees outside of Montreal. A partnership with local universities may also be in the cards for them.
Final verdict: Montreal in a Box is a creative way to show someone that you care, be it a loved one, a friend, an employee or a client, the treats inside are definitely an added bonus.