December 7, 2023


Moving Forward

P.E.I. entrepreneur launches new woman-inspired, ready-to-drink coffee brand in the Maritimes

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — A Charlottetown businesswoman has fulfilled her desire of launching her own line of all set-to-drink coffee brand names because arriving in Canada a handful of years back.

Hai Nguyen, the owner-operator of The Drop coffee shop with two spots in P.E.I.’s money town, a short while ago launched Kool Brew Coffee. It features four kinds – Ethiopia, Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil – named immediately after the nations the place the coffee beans are sourced.

The advancement of these goods took just about two many years, and Nguyen can continue to vividly remember traveling to the manufacturing facility in New Brunswick in which she observed her company idea turning into a truth.

“I practically cried out driving on the way back property,” Nguyen advised SaltWire in a current interview. “Finally, you see your solution in your hand and then it is all set to offer to the marketplace. It’s the answer for so many sleepless nights.”

It was throughout a single of individuals sleepless nights, whilst having treatment of her a few younger kids, that she arrived up with the strategy for Kool Brew. 

Breaking barriers 

Nguyen and her family members arrived in P.E.I. from Vietnam in late 2020, and soon right after, she opened her 1st coffee store in downtown Charlottetown. 

There had been a good deal of evenings she had problems sleeping, Nguyen stated, as she had to juggle her company duties with caring for her young children. Currently being a particular person of entrepreneurial nature, she usually expended those evenings thinking about her company. 

“It’s the time for me to feel about what to do subsequent,” she explained. 

As a coffee fanatic, Nguyen wished to produce a merchandise of one-origin coffee that could be traced back again to distinct areas, each individual with its unique flavour. But it also experienced to be easy and ready to drink for consumers. 

“We want to do something fun, neat, convenient, but not compromising the top quality of coffee.” 

The product offers four varieties, including Ethiopia and Guatemala, representing the countries from which the coffee beans for these varieties are sourced. - Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
The products delivers 4 types, which includes Ethiopia and Guatemala, symbolizing the nations from which the espresso beans for these types are sourced. – Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire

Getting a newcomer, she lacked know-how about reworking a business enterprise idea into a item and knowledge the industry in P.E.I. and Canada. So, in 2021, she joined the Food stuff Xcel application with the Foodstuff Island Partnership. 

This 16-week system offers individuals with insights into food stuff entrepreneurship from marketplace pros, together with the opportunity to contend for a $25,000 funds award from Innovation P.E.I. 

Michael Great, the director of enterprise and products enhancement at Meals Island Partnership, supported Nguyen during the enhancement of Kool Brew, such as connecting her with businesses, authorities and manufacturers in the area meals market. 

“Hai did all the tough perform, I was just there to aid,” Good mentioned.  

Nguyen did not acquire the prize and was the runner-up in the pitch levels of competition, but Fantastic explained he’s witnessed how her business enterprise has developed greatly because the software, from opening a 2nd The Lose spot to launching her Kool Brew products.  

“She’s an incredible good results story from Food stuff Xcel. What she’s accomplished in the past calendar year is inspirational.” 

Celebrating women in coffee 

In the course of the item advancement process, Nguyen sought to use beans sourced from distinct regions, each individual with their one of a kind flavours. 

The Ethiopian wide variety features hints of black tea, floral notes and lemongrass, even though the Colombian selection has a nutty, caramel-like flavor, Nguyen claimed. The Brazilian coffee, on the other hand, boasts a fuller body, sweetness and smoothness, with hints of caramel and chocolate. 

“We desired to participate in all-around a minimal bit with the flavour profile,” she mentioned. 

For the packaging, Nguyen works by using photographs of ladies doing work in coffee fields to rejoice their contributions to the coffee industry. She also sourced the espresso for her new products precisely from females-led farms. 

“That’s to remind us how we should really come to feel grateful to all the girls performing in the farm, tricky-doing the job just about every working day to offer you us the superior caffeine,” Nguyen mentioned. 

Kool Brew is now accessible in The Shed’s two destinations in Charlottetown, and Petes Frootique’s two Halifax spots. She’s doing work on growing its availability to New Brunswick and across Canada, as perfectly as aiming to have it stocked on the shelves at Sobeys. 

Thinh Nguyen is a company reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He can be attained by electronic mail at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @thinhnguyen4291.