Small-town success Kicking Horse Coffee brews bold move to the U.S.
Kicking Horse founder prepares to push into U.S. markets while keeping the operation in the remote community where it was born
By ROY MacGREGOR
This is where The Hippie Dream ended up.
High mountain ranges on both sides, the Columbia River in the valley below as it begins its long journey to the Pacific Ocean – and a 45-year-old woman who stands, weeping, as a parade of young people, heading out into the real world, passes by.
They do things differently in little Invermere. Each June, the local paper runs individual photographs of every graduate of the high school. The graduates then gather and parade down the main drag while the entire town turns out to cheer their success.
This year the woman in tears – "And I didn't even have a kid in the parade," she admits – had gifts for each graduate heading out: a T-shirt, a travelling mug, and a bag of newly roasted coffee beans created, and named, especially for the occasion: "Kick Ass" coffee.
Elana Rosenfeld is the chief executive officer of Kicking Horse Coffee1, a small-town success story that is all about getting ahead while staying right where you are.
The story wasn't intended to end up in a 60,000-square-foot plant at the edge of town, a growing business with 70 employees and distribution across the country and into the United States. The privately held company doesn't reveal its financials, but last year Kicking Horse roasted three-million pounds of coffee and expects this year to reach 3.4-million pounds.
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