Meet the experts behind our kibbles - 1st Choice Canada

Meet the experts behind our kibbles!

Meet the <span>experts</span> behind our kibbles!

Creating premium pet food that is tasty, balanced and adapted to the specific needs of dogs and cats cannot be improvised. It is a science that requires knowledge and technical know-how.

Pet parents around the world trust 1st Choice Nutrition to feed their pets healthily. To ensure that we craft foods that truly meet their expectations, we are fortunate to be able to count on a panel of experts from different sectors. Thanks to them, we do not compromise on the development of our formulas, on the quality of the ingredients chosen or on quality control during production.

We are proud of our Development & Innovation and Quality & Safety teams, who work tirelessly to create the best possible products. These teams are made up of competent, dedicated, and passionate professionals. Being pet parents themselves, they put their hearts into producing exceptional foods that they give to their own little four-legged friends.  

Let's get acquainted! 

Julie Cormier

Quality & Regulatory Affairs Director

Julie Cormier

I studied Dietetics and then Food Science and Technology. At first, I thought I would embark in a clinical nutrition career or in a hospital environment, but the call of the unknown and my thirst for challenges led me to the pet food industry!

I'm somewhat like an orchestra conductor, collaborating daily with a wonderful team that is responsible for ensuring the safety of the food produced. From the beginning of the supply chain to the shipping of the finished products, I overlook to the effectiveness of the processes and controls put in place. One of the secrets of my motivation at work is my magnificent Siamese cat, who only deserves the crème de la crème! He only eats our food. He can count on me because the quality of our food is my number one priority!  

In my spare time, I love visiting arenas and water parks in the province. I also love cooking, trying new recipes, and modifying them to make them "healthy" without changing their taste or appearance! 

Annabelle Lemire

Development & Innovation Coordinator

Annabelle Lemire

I hold a bachelor's degree in Food Science and Technology. This training is very complete and allowed me to acquire all the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out my work: food processing techniques, ingredient functionality, microbiology, etc.

Currently, I am Coordinator in the Development & Innovation Department. I take responsibility for leading various projects aimed at developing new products or optimizing existing practices. It's truly motivating!

It was natural for me to move into the pet food industry. As a proud “crazy cat lady”, I have finally found an environment that doesn't judge me when I talk about cats! Joking aside, I love animals and it's inspiring to be able to work for their well-being.

I also have a passion for textile arts. Mainly, I knit and weave. It works wonderfully with my “crazy cat lady” title!

Pierre-Yves Bellemare

Innovation Process Expert

Pierre-Yves Bellemare

At 1st Choice Nutrition, I act as a facilitator between the Development & Innovation team and the extrusion technicians at the factory. My role is to make sure that the new ideas proposed will be feasible and I make sure they can be operationalized at our factory. I started working at 1st Choice Nutrition in 1998. My experience allows me to participate in the search for solutions and the selection of innovative equipment.

According to the desired formulas, I establish the target operating speeds, cadences, rates, and other critical parameters, to precisely obtain the desired result. I also standardize work methods aimed at improving extruded products in the factory.

In my spare time, I love spending quality time with my family! I have a real passion for the great outdoors! Whether it's summer or winter, I never miss the opportunity to practice my favorite outdoor activities, such as wild camping, fishing, hiking and skiing. Nelly, our charming little beagle, follows us everywhere in our adventures!

Sarah-Michèle St-Laurent

Product Formulation Technician

Sarah-Michèle St-Laurent

I am the latest addition to the Development & Innovation Department, and I am thrilled to join this great team of enthusiasts! My role is to ensure that each ingredient that goes into the composition of our formulations has been carefully chosen so that our superior quality foods remain affordable! I hold a bachelor's degree in Food Science and Technology.

It is my great love of animals that brought me to the pet nutrition industry. Innately curious, I always love to learn more about the feline and canine world, as well as the pet food manufacturing industry.

I also have a keen passion for travel! Travelling allows me to discover other cultures and culinary diversity. It's interesting to see that my passion at work is the same as at home: I love to cook and improvise new recipes!

Julie Simard

Marketing Innovation Coordinator

Julie Simard

I'm part of the Marketing team and I'm responsible for innovation and product development. My role consists in analyzing the market and identifying current trends in pet food. This enables us to make informed choices about creating new innovative products and improving our current product portfolio.

I am passionate about human and animal nutrition, and everything related to global health. The different food trends always arouse my curiosity. It's no surprise, I studied dietetics in school!

I spend most of my spare time cooking for fun and learning about the science of nutrition, agriculture, and dietary habits from around the world.