Maskoutain native Patrice Fontaine comes from a family that has been running the granite business for decades, both in the funeral and construction sectors. In 1987, he added a furniture division to the family business, with its first granite dining tables carving out a niche in the Quebec and Canadian furniture markets.
Under the Granite William banner, Fontaine introduced the company’s first granite dining table and end table collections at the Salon du meuble de Montréal in June 1987 and at the Canadian Furniture Show in Toronto in January 1988. Impressed with the products, such renowned merchants as La Galerie du Meuble, Mariette Clermont, and John Deboer decided to sell them.
Always at the forefront of the latest trends, the product evolved under the helm of designer Guy Boilo, who successfully created dining room collections that merged granite and wood.
In 1995, veteran designer Francine Gagnon joined the William team as its in-house designer, contributing both her talent and sense of innovation.
In 1998, Le Groupe William acquired the Furnitrad upholstery plant (founded in 1975), which became the William furniture division. A new, larger, more modern factory was built, consolidating the premium upholstered furniture market in Quebec. Thanks to the exclusive designs and high quality of its collections, William occupies a select position not only in Quebec and Canada, but also in the international market.
In fact, for several years Patrice Fontaine worked for an internationally renowned business in collaboration with his future mentor, François Roche. Over the years, illustrious collaborators have signed exclusive collections for William, including Michel Dallaire (Charlot armchair), Jaime Bouzagloo (Milos chair), and Charles Godbout (W and XYZ collections).
1999 – The first William sofa collections presented at the Canadian Furniture Show in Toronto.
2001 – Exhibition at the new Las Vegas Furniture Show.
In 2014 and in 2015, respectively, William and Elizabeth Fontaine, both graduates of the Université de Montréal, joined the family.
2016 – Inauguration of the new High Point showroom in North Carolina as part of the International Furniture Show.
2018 – Major expansion of Le Groupe William’s showroom and plant that incorporated new technologies and created new specialized jobs.
William continues its work in the residential, commercial, and institutional (RCI) sectors. Always at the cutting edge of technology, the company also uses environmentally sustainable manufacturing processes.
At every step of the creation process, the R&D team focuses attentively on designing high-quality, long-lasting furniture that is exceptionally comfortable.