CELEBRATING FIVE YEARS OF FAMILY VALUES, CLEAR VISION & BRAND INNOVATION by Christi Rideout COLDSTREAM CLEAR DISTILLERY C oldstream Clear is clearly making an impact in Atlantic Canada’s vibrant distillery industry.
“We make a lot happen with less which has allowed us to become leaders in the market even amongst very large and powerful brands.”
Delicious, mouth-watering flavours invite consumers of the popular Coldstream Clear brand to share in the founders’ vision of sipping a favourite drink while enjoying the company of friends. Co-founder Riley Giffen’s interest in creating distilled spirits was sparked in an organic chemistry classroom in his second year of Dalhousie University’s Chemical Engineering program. As he was distilling essential oils from the zest of an orange peel, he made the connection that the same principles are used to make spirits and he was all in.
With passion and an entrepreneurial spirit, he built his own still and approached his parents with his dream of creating a brand and starting a business. His interest was contagious, and it wasn’t long before the whole Giffen family joined in the adventure. Mom, Elaine, Dad, Robert, and siblings Olivia and Liam quickly brought Riley’s dream to reality. Spotlight on Business had the pleasure of connecting with Olivia Giffen as summer was ending to learn how the distillery became such a success story.
Olivia shared that the family had all been pursuing other careers but came together to embrace Riley’s vision to handcraft world-class quality beverages. Each member of the family has their own niche in the business, with very little overlap. Elaine takes care of the account- ing logistics, Robert manages production of all spirits, Liam manages ready-to-drink production, and Riley and Olivia are responsible for business development, marketing, and liaising with the liquor boards. This structure has allowed them to be very agile. Olivia explains, “We make a lot happen with less which has allowed us to become leaders in the market even amongst very large and powerful brands.” And with Olivia, Riley and Liam all being under the age of 27, they find it easy to understand and vibe with their ready- to-drink beverage target market.
Unique to this brand is that the Giffen family grew up on a property that boasts a high-quali- ty spring that is the perfect source of water for distilling. In fact, Robert and Elaine owned and operated a local bottled water business for ten years prior to the opening of the distillery. One might assume that the brand is named after the spring, however the name Coldstream Clear was actually named after the street the family lives on, Coldstream Road. During the infancy of the business, they would label Coldstream Clear on mason jars for identification. Giffen shares, “The name had a nice ring to it and is special to us. It is universal and will prepare us well for wherever we take the brand in the future.”
“The name had a nice ring to it and is special to us. It is universal and will prepare uswell for wherever we take the brand in the future.”
DECEMBER 2020 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • DECEMBER 2020
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