Food In Canada

Who’s Who 2023: Marie-Eve Royer, president, Bimbo Canada

By Mark Cardwell   

Business Operations Bimbo Canada Quebec

Bimbo Canada’s first Canadian-born head Marie-Eve Royer values teamwork and collaboration the most

For Marie-Eve Royer, president, Bimbo Canada, success in the bakery business boils down to one key ingredient: Her employees.

Bimbo Canada is the nation’s biggest bakery with nearly $1.4 billion in annual sales from 18 brand-name bread and snack products.

“We bake fresh daily and ship across the second biggest country on Earth. It’s a fast-paced business with a complex supply chain that requires teamwork and collaboration to be successful,” she explains.

Royer learned the power of collaborative effort early in life. Born and raised in a close-knit family in the rural Quebec City suburb of Saint-Nicolas, now part of Lévis, she was an eager learner and an active participant in school, notably serving as class president en-route to enrolment in the world-class commerce program at Montreal’s McGill University.


“It was always clear to me that I would go to university and get into business,” said Royer, whose father was an engineer and mother a nursing instructor. “I love working with people in a fast-paced environment. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people around you and the team you’re with.”

Recruited into a three-year leadership training program by Maple Leaf Foods upon graduation in 2000, Royer quickly fell for the fast-paced, dynamic world of consumer packaged food products.

“It was an amazing program that allowed me to build relationships across different kinds of products and places and people,” said Royer, who trained in Toronto, Montreal and London, U.K., where she met Nipun Sharma, who soon became her husband and father of her two boys.

Canada Bread

Back in Canada, she joined the company full time, settling in as regional sales manager for Quebec with Mississauga-based Oliveria, the pasta division of Maple Leaf subsidiary Canada Bread. “I’m a salesperson,” said Royer, who worked her way up to national vice-president retail sales in 2009, a position she held for three years and led her back to Montreal. “Sales is where my heart is.”

In 2012, Royer was named vice-president-sales of Canada Bread, which owns famous Canadian brands like Villagio, POM, Dempster’s and Vachon, a revered Quebec bakery that was founded 100 years ago in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, a 40-minute drive south of Quebec City.

Both of Royer’s parents grew up there. Her maternal grandmother worked seasonally at Vachon’s to decorate the company’s Christmas holiday logs, which are still a popular retail item. Her mother also worked at Vachon’s part time as a student.

Royer stayed on as Canada Bread’s VP of sales after Mexican multinational Grupo Bimbo bought the business from Maple Leaf Foods in 2014. Four years later, she was promoted to national sales VP of Bimbo Canada, and was then named senior vice-president, business transformation, in 2020.

Responsible for aligning commercial sales and supply chain functions in a company with 16 bakeries, 11 distribution centres and 4,300 employees, Royer created and led high-performing teams that implemented transformative strategies to cut costs, increase efficiency and boost sales.

“We pride ourselves on quality and service,” said Royer, who learned in November 2022 that she would succeed Joe McCarthy as president of Bimbo Canada on January 1, 2023.

“Thousands of independent operators visit our facilities every day (and) some trucks travel eight hours to deliver fresh bread to Canadians every day. It takes teamwork and collaboration to make that happen. For me, it’s a privilege to work with the people around me.”

This article was originally published in the April/May 2023 issue of Food in Canada.

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