Entrepreneurship is so much better with friends by your side! If you’ve ever been curious about how the small businesses in your community have gotten to where they are today, you are in the right place. In this series, you’ll get to meet your fellow YEG Entrepreneurs and hear their stories of launching a business, overcoming obstacles, and building a career they love.
From Electrical Engineering and Contracts Administration to running a Rum Distillery. How Trevor and Marie made their dream come true!
Today, I’m sitting down with Trevor of Doege Company. Pour a cup of coffee (or their rum) and join us as we learn more about their business journey.
Hi everyone! I’m Trevor, Owner / Distiller of Doege Company.
I have always had the desire to mix and invent new drinks, so when I meet Marie, she gave me the push I needed to put my dream into a reality and we started our Distillery.
My passion is Engineering and science, so I feel right at home when I get to create a new beverage, from the chemistry in the yeast and sugar to the electrical needed in the distilling process and the plant setup for automation in bottling.
Q. Tell us more about you! We’d love to know about your business today and the story of how you got there.
The distillery is only a portion of my time, I work a full-time job as an Electrical engineering manager which keep my mind very busy at all times. So, it has definitely been a few evenings and weekends to get this off the ground. We started 2019 to look for the right building and the licencing process, and late 2019 we moved into our building and started our first batches of cane sugar spirits. When covid hit we got requests for a stronger product, which we hadn’t planned on producing but as a business you’ll have to be prepared to shift when necessary, so we came up with Straightpipe which is 80% cane sugar spirit with hints of vanilla (make sure you mix it before drinking 😉). Summer of 2020 we had The Original – Apple Spirit ready which was a hit off the bat, it is a different experience as we start with fresh pressed apple juice from Okanagan Valley and then spice it. Late summer we launched Prairie White which is a white cane sugar spirit that is perfect for all the mixed drinks. And in the fall we released our mulled wine.
Q. Let’s dive more into the specifics of your business. What products/services do you offer? What do you do for your clients that sets you apart?
We are focused on a few unique ideas;
– All of our spirits are cane sugar based and last weekend we opened up our first barrels of Rum which was super exciting! The first one out the gate is our Orchard Rum – spiced apple, and we are planning to add more flavours as we go, peach and cherry is up next.
-We created a unique process to extract Canadian fruit flavors that we base our orchard spirits on, growing up in the Okanagan I knew I needed to use these delicious fruits and share with the world.
– From Marie’s background growing up in Sweden, we have our wine license and have made Glögg, mulled wine! We make a Cabernet Sauvignon from Canadian grapes, that Marie then turns into our Mulled Wine after a family recipe. Traditionally she serve the mulled wine warm or chilled for the winter months. But being me, I had to experiment with it and as it turns out it is a fantastic base for sangria for the summer.
Q. What inspired or influenced you to create your business?
– That was all Marie haha, as I said earlier she gave me the push to make reality of my long time dream and some of her strengths are the paper and business organization side of the business, she deals with most that comes with operating in a highly regulated industry and makes things run smoothly.
Q. What are you most proud of in your work?
– We made a new company in the middle of a pandemic and now I have to say our patience paid off as we now have Rum to offer!
Q. What is one challenge you’ve overcome as a business owner, and what did you learn from it that you can share with others?
– Paperwork, regardless of what industry you start in, make sure you stay organized and stay on top of the paperwork from the beginning, it sounds obvious but it makes a world of a difference when you have everything organized and can easily access your records.
Q. What is your favorite part of what you do?
The tasting or when I get a chance to show off what we have just created to someone new.
Q. What is one thing you do to set yourself up for success every week?
Set a goal of 10 items to get done each week, and do not stop until they are done.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
– Go slow at the beginning, get to know the process, then expand
Q. Where can people find you to learn more? (Leave your email, website, social media handles, etc.!)
instagram @ Doegecompany
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The thought of scheduling your branding photography session makes your heart beat a little faster, doesn’t it?
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