Here in Quebec City, Canada – Marie-Josée Fortin, a visionary female entrepreneur, is making waves in the rum business with her exceptional distillery venture, Artemis Spirits.
Born in 1971 in the region of Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean , Marie-Josée’s journey has taken her across Europe and Africa before settling in the suburbs of Quebec City, where she now resides in the scenic Lac-Beauport.
Marie-Josée’s passion for crafting rum began during her seven-year stay on the breathtaking Réunion Island, nestled in the Indian Ocean. It was here, amidst the island’s vibrant culture, that she honed her skills in creating a unique “arranged rum”—a unique concoction infused with spices, medicinal herbs, and macerated fruit—a true emblem of Réunion Island’s heritage.
After returning to Quebec, Marie-Josée’s talent for blending exceptional flavors caught the attention of friends in the spirits industry. Enchanted by the aromatic symphony of her arranged rum, they saw immense potential and encouraged her to bring it to the market.
In 2019, Marie-Josée embarked on her journey into the world of distillery. Drawing from her background as a social worker, health executive, and her academic achievements, including a master’s degree in ethnology and postgraduate degrees in research and social development, she set out to create a product that embodies environmental responsibility and that promotes equitable practices.
Armed with a strong sense of gratitude for her second home on Réunion Island, Marie-Josée held a strong desire to give back to the community that had embraced her.
She envisioned offering a recipe that would represent the people of Réunion, Mauritius, and Madagascar in Quebec. Despite initial offers that failed to align with her vision of an international women’s entrepreneurship project, Marie-Josée remained steadfast and resolved to develop her own arranged rum while upholding her values of social responsibility and women’s empowerment.
In 2022, a fortuitous partnership with Laponce microdistillery, co-owned by Véronique Labbé, a trailblazing woman in her own right, provided Marie-Josée with the necessary platform to bring her dream to fruition. Collaborating with women contract collaborators, artists, designers, and herbal experts, Marie-Josée self-funded her project, meticulously crafting a company that stands apart.
Artemis Spirits, named after the ancient goddess symbolizing strength and independence, represents the essence of Marie-Josée’s vision.
With her two daughters, Camille and Énora, and her son, Alexandre, by her side, Marie-Josée ushered in 2023 with the introduction of Artemis Spirits’ traditional arranged rum.
This delightful elixir is crafted from endemic herbs from Réunion, the finest Madagascar vanilla, and exquisite Quebec honey.
Marie-Josée Fortin has made history as the pioneer of arranged rum production in North America, challenging the predominantly male landscape of the distillery industry.
However, she doesn’t plan to stop there. Collaborating with women from Réunion Island, Madagascar, Rwanda, Senegal, and beyond, Marie-Josée is diligently working on over 30 mixed rum recipes that will tantalize the senses with their unique aromas from across the globe.
Artemis Spirits is not just a brand; it’s a celebration of empowerment, diversity, and exceptional taste.
With Marie-Josée Fortin at the helm, the rum industry has witnessed a remarkable transformation, and consumers are eagerly embracing the distinct flavors of Artemis Spirits’ remarkable creations.
For more information about Artemis Spirits and to experience the magic of their rum, please visit their website at www.artemisspirits.com
- From May 4th Artemis is currently available for order through the Quebec SAQ website.