Pushing boundaries for Ashton

Pushing boundaries for Ashton

Jean-Christophe Lirette and Émily Adam surprised everyone in March 2022 when they bought the 23 Ashton restaurants. In their early thirties, owners of Chez Ti-Oui in Saint-Raymond and three Harvey’s restaurants in Quebec City, they looked like frogs wolfing down beef.

• Also read: The Chez Ashton chain was sold to the owners of Ti-Oui

But basically, that’s what sometimes happens in business and can lead to great success. Dizziness ?

“Yes, still, Émily acknowledges, but we’re risk-takers and that’s always been our dream. Visualization helped. »

“On our trip we thought we were there. We focused 100% on the project and eliminated all external distractions,” emphasizes Jean-Christophe.

Born in Saint-Raymond, they went to school together and became a couple in secondary school 5. They learned to surpass themselves in sports, he in ice hockey, she in kayaking competitions.

At university he studied business administration, administration and marketing. She chose finance. Perfect additions.

A predetermined route

It’s rare to meet people planning their trip that far. They have dreams, set goals to achieve them and realize their ambitions bit by bit.

“Becoming an entrepreneur was innate. There was no other option for us. We trust each other and complement each other,” says Jean-Christophe.

They were freshmen at university when they bought Ti-Oui. Twenty-one years old, zero experience in gastronomy, but sheer willpower and a cooking uncle who became a partner.

“The victims were part of our twenties. It took time and effort and we surrounded each other well. Plus, it was never just us,” says Émily.

The couple is still surprised to see Ashton’s staff care and take pride in it as if it were their company. It helps move forward, that’s for sure.

Across Canada

In 2017, the couple bought three Harvey’s restaurants in search of a joint venture to solidify their fast food experience and understand chain best practices.

It was the step towards the dream of owning my own restaurant chain that came true with Ashton.

“It was the niche we wanted to work on, the only model we wanted to replicate: just fresh,” says Jean-Christophe.

“We’ve always been fans. We were there every week. It’s so different from the competition,” smiles Emily.

Since they took over, they have been doing strategic planning with motivated employees who were looking for new challenges. They hope to open a 24th Ashton in 2023, and two more each year thereafter.

The brand image is rejuvenated. There is work for several years, but the couple never feels that it is so much work that it is a matter of passion.

The ultimate dream? Make the flagship across Canada the pride of Quebec. Quebec restaurateurs venturing into Montreal are rare, but even more so in Toronto, Vancouver.

But dreaming big and being surrounded well makes it possible to cross many real or imagined boundaries.

A lot of


  • You: Alain Bouchard, founder of Couche-Tard, for boldly believing in it.
  • Him: Football player Tom Brady for his will to win and perform.


  • Design, build and be successful as a team.


  • They flew to Florida xreturn for a handshake and coffee with Ashton Leblond early in the sales process to make sure they were chosen!