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In Pictures: How Passau Hockey's bespoke equipment is made

Montreal-area firm outfits goalies with pads, chest protectors and sticks

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Hugo Beaudry, chief executive officer of Passau Hockey Inc., demonstrates how to sew hockey pads at the company’s plant in Chambly, Que. The company, which makes its products largely by hand, sells its goalie pads, blockers, trappers, chest protectors and goalie sticks directly to players.

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An operator checks a machine cutting foam at Passau’s plant. The company sells primarily in Quebec, though it would like to grow and sell to a broader geographic area. High demand for its products – which cost around $2,500 for a complete goalie equipment package – has the company operating at 100 per cent of capacity.

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Rolls of leather are ready to be made into hockey equipment. The company offers personal service, contacting customers by phone or Skype after they have placed their order online. “We talk to the customer for about an hour, going over the order sheet together, and then we place the order,” Mr. Beaudry says.

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But Mr. Beaudry wonders whether the company should also sell its products in retail stores. From Day 1, we’ve been approached by shops who are interested in carrying our equipment,” he says. “And I also know that our customers would like to see our products in-store.”

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Hugo Beaudry’s father, Alain, right, founded the company 30 years ago. The elder Mr. Beaudry is an industry veteran who used to adjust and repair goalie equipment for the Montreal Canadiens.

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Both Baudrys worry about quality and the value of the brand. “Will we be able to produce enough equipment to meet demand? It takes time to build high-quality goalie equipment,” Hugo says.

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A seamstress sews catchers together.

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Blockers on the wall at Passau Hockey.

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One option that Hugo Beaudry and his father are considering is adding a new line of lower-priced products for intermediate players. They would be sold at retail locations.

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