If anyone knows how to build a successful business based on blocks, it’s Maurice Laroche. He’s done it twice: first in 1984, when he brought it to the point where it was producing 10,000 blocks a day – and again since 2012 when he decided to revisit the manufacturing business with his stepson, Brendon Dadesky.
The problem in the 1980s was political turmoil, which led Laroche to diversify into other areas, such as rice and sugar. Because it was his first enterprise, however, he always considered it his baby. “It was a business that worked well for me, so I always knew that one day I would give it another go.”
The second time has been even more successful than the first. Laroche has equipped his yard with the most sophisticated block-making machinery, producing a range of different sizes, all tested for earthquake resistance. To the blocks, he’s added gravel, washed sand and paving stones – making sure his business works as a one-stop shop for all his customers.
He runs Mazères Industries with Dadesky, and since 2012 they’ve watched its market and its workforce increase with its reputation. Having started with 50 workers to man the block machines, they’ve now more than trebled that number to 160 – making a hugely beneficial impact on the economy of Cap-Haïtien.
“Most of our workers live in the immediate area, even the truck drivers who make the deliveries”, says Dadesky. “I always believe that when you employ local people they have more of a sense of belonging. That’s good for them – and it’s good for the business.”