OUR FAMILY’S STORY
PRUNO is a third-generation family business founded in 1930 by blacksmith Armand Pruneau in Saint-Prosper de Dorchester, Quebec, Canada. In 1960, the business evolved into a welding, machining and general repair shop under his son Roch Pruneau. The new machine shop primarily served the forestry, agricultural and sawmill sectors, and later carved itself a place in the maple industry. In 1974, it was the first company to specialize in maple sugaring tools and became a pioneering force in the industry. Today, PRUNO remains the leading manufacturer of sugarbush tools in North America.
The company now under Martial Pruneau, has maintained its original vision, whilst becoming a prolific industrial manufacturer and exporting company recognized by maple syrup producers North America wide. Faithful to its roots, it continues to design forestry, industrial and domestic equipment.
1930 - 1960
Armand Pruneau’s blacksmith shop
In 1930, Armand Pruneau set up a blacksmith workshop on “Rang Saint-Louis” road in Saint-Prosper de Dorchester, Quebec, Canada. In the middle of the Great Depression, he built a forge, machines and tools with the resources at hand. He taught himself the art of blacksmithing and became a cartwright, cobbler, farrier and grower. The business focused primarily on repairing and building agricultural and forestry equipment.
A few years later, the blacksmith’s four sons joined the business and helped improve the working methods. As an adolescent, Roch Pruneau, future founder of PRUNO, already showed incredible resourcefulness and talent for welding and mechanical fabrication. At very young age, he developed his first inventions along with his brothers.
The shop was electrified mid-century and acquired its first electric welder. In the early 1950s, the young inventor bought his first metal lathe from the army surpluses and reconditioned it. The old shop was expanded in 1958 and by 1960, Roch Pruneau established his own machine shop
1960 - 1990
Roch Pruneau : The first maple sugaring tools
In 1960, Roch Pruneau relocated a former one-room schoolhouse and transformed it into a welding shop in the village of Saint-Prosper. He officially registered the business in 1974 under the name “Roch Pruneau, soudeur” (Roch Pruneau, welder) and operated with his wife, brother and brother-in-law, in the forestry, sawmill, agricultural and transportation sectors.
He bought a sugarbush in 1973, and a year later, he was one of the first maple syrup producers in the region to install a tubing system to collect maple sap, instead of the traditional sap buckets. This new technology in sugaries required special equipment, creating new tooling needs. Roch Pruneau started manufacturing special custom pliers to facilitate the installation of the first 5/16” tubes. His new tools caught on quickly amongst maple syrup producers in the region, and soon everywhere else. The workshop, which up until then had focused on general welding and repairing, embraced its emerging maple sugaring product line and developed more concepts. The business quickly carved out an important place for itself in the regional maple syrup industry.
The first tools Roch Pruneau made in 1974 were the Tubing Installation Pliers and Stripping Pliers; two of the most popular tools in the PRUNO catalog to this day. The series of inventions that followed over the years, still form the majority of our maple sugaring product line.
1990 to this day
Martial Pruneau : Following his father’s footsteps
Roch Pruneau’s eldest son, Martial Pruneau, grew up in his father’s machine shop, learning the trades of welding, machining – and inventing – at a very young age. With a mind as fertile as his father’s, he co-developed with him many PRUNO signature concepts, such as the Compact Insertion Pliers and the Mainline Hole Punch.
In 1991, Martial proudly joined the family business, which started operating under the name of Atelier Roch and Martial Pruneau. Larger premises were acquired in Saint-Prosper, along with new high-performance equipment, leading to a significant growth of the business. The company diversified, improved and increased production, enabling the PRUNO brand to conquer the maple production market outside Quebec.
As of 1995, Atelier Roch and Martial Pruneau saw its tools distributed by the largest maple sugaring equipment dealers in North America. Around 2005, the company became known as PRUNO. Since then, the business has continued to grow and listen to maple growers’ needs in order to perfect its products.