Published on Apr 29, 2021

Les Moulins Tremblay : From Everyday Utility to True Art Objects

Created with the great talent of designer-carpenter Sylvain Tremblay (today deceased), these salt and pepper mills are as functional as they are esthetic and will enhance your table setting in the blink of an eye. Thanks to a duo of passionate artists who wish to perpetuate the work of their designer, these little works of art will now be made in Val-des-Sources.

By Natalie Sicard

The recipient of several awards, Sylvain Tremblay was a well-known exhibitor of the Salon des Métiers d’Art. His pepper and salt mills, as esthetic as they are durable, were quite popular here. He developed his love for carpentry, and all the different wood essences at a very young age, while still at his father’s side. After completing his studies in design at l’École des Beaux-Arts, he specialized in creating furniture and accessories, among these, his famous salt and pepper mills, which have become a great success of this artist. As early as in 1998, he devoted his time exclusively to making these mills in his Saint-Colomban workshop, in the Laurentians. A career that ended abruptly with his death in 2019.

His passing came as a shock for his two long-time friends, Mélanie Gauthier and François Vincelette. The latter, a friend of Sylvain since they were teenagers, knew a lot about his work and often helped out in his workshop. Wanting to ensure the sustainability of Sylvain’s art, the couple, then still living in Montreal, decided to turn their lives around and move to the Eastern Townships to pursue his work. In the middle of the pandemic, they moved all the machinery and materials to their new home in Val-des-Sources, where Mélanie is originally from. They began by completing the orders engaged by Sylvain, and then opened their own independent workshop and boutique in July 2020. François, who was at that time a documentary photography director, decided to take a new turn. He’s the one that shapes all the pieces, whereas Mélanie, while still pursuing a successful career in sound design, monitors all their orders and takes care of the marketing sector.

Inside this special space, where Sylvain’s spirit lives on, they continue his collections, like his Banquet series, evoking chic clothing, the Epicurean series with its whimsical, lighthearted shapes—cats, fish, tomatoes, penguins …—Each piece is unique and made with different wood essences, among these, on the top of the list you’ll find purpleheart, wenge, yellowheart, padouk, and local hickory and maple wood. They’re offered in a wide range of colours and designed with high-quality hardware—the same cooking professionals use—all with a lifetime guarantee.

The Métiers d’art collection pieces illustrate the artistic research which inspires the entire production. You’ll discover some surprising salt and pepper mills made out of buckeye wood with a mushroom design, and newly designed mills topped with clay birds. “Les messagers du bonheur”, named and created by Mélanie’s father, Rénald Gauthier, an accomplished artist in his own right. A fine family project is being launched with its first cuvée presenting a series of collaborations with other artists and entitled “Dessine-moi un moulin,” draw me a mill!

You can visit their new website and online boutique to learn more about their endeavours :

Their Address Book for the Region

  • The Restaurant Le Temps des Cerises in Danville: This restaurant established in an old chapel concocts gastronomic dishes using local products. Besides local beef and lamb, guests can also savour fish, mussels and excellent tartars.

  • The “P’tit Lait” Cheese Whey of our Local Cheese Factories, a Real Treat! Mélanie’s suggestions: at the Fromagerie Proulx St-Georges or the Rumba Latino Cheese Factory, previously L’Oiseau Bleu, in Val-des-Sources. This last one, offers it from noon until 5:00 p.m. every day (except Saturdays). Furthermore, their specialty is the production of Latin American cheeses. They produce about ten varieties. Plus they also offer several Latino products such as corn tortillas, canned black beans and salsa piquante … and it seems that their homemade nachos are delicious!

  • The Pub and Microbrewery Le Moulin 7: both a microbrewery and bistro, it’s the perfect destination for savoury beer enthusiasts. The Pub, with its décor inspired by the industrial past of Val-des-Sources (previously Asbestos), also offers to satisfy its visitors’ appetites with delicious dishes such as their “wild boar” burger.

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