Elana ~ Entrepreneur of the Year
"It can't be done" is not a familiar phrase for Elana Rosenfeld, Kicking Horse Coffee's Co-Founder and CEO. This time, she's been recognized yet again for her determination, creativity, and innovation.
BC Business magazine has named Elana Entrepreneur of the Year.
Kicking Horse® Coffee calls the Rocky Mountains home, and is based in Invermere, BC. Elana's vision has seen a little coffee start-up grow into an incredible company. This year alone, Kicking Horse® Coffee has garnered awards for being one of the best places to work in Canada, as well as one of its most trusted brands.
Here's the full text of the BC Business piece on Kicking Horse® Coffee's own Elana Rosenfeld, awarded EY Entrepreneur of the Year, or you can read the original article here.
EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016: Business-to-Consumer Products and Services
Elana Rosenfeld, CEO, Kicking Horse Coffee (Winner)
This is actually happening in major cities across North America: hundreds of people rise at 5 a.m., dress up in gold-sequined suits, sheep costumes or workout clothes, show up at a designated church or touring boat, and party until 10 a.m. It’s a morning rave—and, according to Drew Magary in the August 2015 issue of GQ, it’s A Thing: "There really are people who want to dance around sober with a bunch of strangers in order to get energized for the coming day," writes Magary. "Hedonism repackaged as a health fad.
" Along with vegan almond balls, spoken-word poetry performances and green smoothies, early-rising party animals might also find cups of Kicking Horse Coffee. Since its 1996 launch, the Invermere-based coffee company has spurned traditional advertising in favour of sponsoring local events—generally outdoor sports competitions like mountain biking, trail running, paddle boarding—where it can get its java directly to the taste buds of target customers. Since Kicking Horse’s rapid U.S. expansion in 2014, company reps have also served coffee to morning ravers in San Francisco, New York and Montreal. "It’s fun, it’s goofy, and it’s morning time," says CEO Elana Rosenfeld. "It’s all about coffee.
" It’s also a good example of how the company has stayed true to its community-minded roots, despite a massive growth trajectory. Rosenfeld started roasting beans in her garage with former partner Leo Johnson (who left Kicking Horse in 2012), committed to Fairtrade-certified and organic whole-bean coffee. Over the past five years, Kicking Horse has doubled in size, expanding its roasting facility to 60,000 square feet and processing over seven million pounds of coffee a year. A brand committed to bucking trends seems a natural fit for an all-ages, drug-free, pretensions-aside, crack-of-dawn dance party.
After achieving cross-country distribution (Kicking Horse is now the highest-selling organic Fairtrade-certified coffee in Canada, according to market research firm Nielsen), Rosenfeld pursued expansion south of the border with the help of a new equity partner. Kicking Horse is now available at American specialty food stores, large grocery chains, e-tailers including Amazon and big box stores like Target. The brand has also started offering ground coffee. "A general view in business is that you can’t grow and be big and maintain your values and integrity," says Rosenfeld. "But I think we’ve done that."