THE “BETTER FOR YOU” BRANDS by Anita Flowers ICONIC BREWING
By almost prophetic happenstance, co-founders CamMcDonald and Daniel Bartek met at Dalhou- sie University in the entrepreneurship society. “I always had an entrepreneurial background. I grew up in Oakville, Ontario and then I was in Halifax at Dalhousie University. I had a boat detailing company when I was in high school and I started a phone case company in my first couple years in university. And that’s when I ran into Dan as part of the entrepreneurship society at Dal- housie University. Dan’s background is far more interesting than mine,” said McDonald. Bartek took up the story. “Originally, I’m from the Czech Republic and I came to Canada when I was 17. My ambition was to play professional hockey here. I was drafted into the WHL and spent three years playing for various teams. My biggest career highlight before starting the business was making the roster of the 2007 World Juniors Team for Team Czech. After a brief stint with the New York Rangers organization, I decided to play University hockey at Dalhousie and get my education in Canada. That’s where I met Cam. I was studying finance, but I was always interested in entrepreneurship. After spending over 20 years playing profession- al hockey and being a professional athlete, it was something I wanted to do competitively - start a business,” said Bartek. “I always had an entrepre- neurial background.”
With a focus on creating a “better for you” alco- holic beverage and a commitment to providing transparency for consumers, Cam McDonald and Dan Bartek have built an innovative company that is setting trends in Canada’s Ready To Drink (RTD) business. Spotlight on Business chatted with Cam McDonald and Dan Bartek, co-owners of Iconic Brewing back in the summer about creating a ‘better for you’ alcoholic beverage and the chal- lenges of innovation.
“As an athlete, I really care about what goes into my body and being healthy but also socializing on the weekend is important to me. So that’s why I’m really excited about the lineup of our “better for you” and low sugar products in our portfolio now,” said Bartek. Iconic began brewing in 2013 while the founders were in fourth year university. “There were three of us at the time and it was actually our third co-founder, Bobby Besant a friend of mine from high school, who came up with our first idea that got us into the beverage alcohol industry at large,” said McDonald. “As an athlete, I really care about what goes into my body and being healthy but also socializing on the weekend is important to me.”
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • DECEMBER 2020 116
DECEMBER 2020 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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