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Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nick Devine, Co-Founder and COO of Edna's Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Company, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Edna's is a non-alcoholic cocktail company. We have four recognizable flavours, a Mojito, a Paloma, a Collins, and a Mule, made with all-natural premium ingredients, including authentic spirit extracts, elevating the non-alcoholic experience. Also designed to be a fantastic mixer. It can be enjoyed by everyone... fun for the whole family! They are delicious.

Tell us about yourself

I've been in the Bar & Restaurant Industry for 25 years, with a particular emphasis on cocktails. I've noticed over the years that non-alcoholic options are often overlooked or even neglected. I think that is definitely changing, and quite drastically over these last few years. I saw an opportunity to create a range of premium RTD cocktails that I'd be proud to serve at one of my bars. Cocktails that work not just as a standalone alcohol-free cocktail, with some depth and character, but also appeal as a quality mixer, where the consumer can control the type, as well as the quality and quantity of liquor. All conveniently ready-to-go in a well-presented can... Convenient Mixology.

I'm very proud of what I've created, and I'm genuinely excited to grow the brand. Every time I see someone's eyes light up when they have their first sip, usually a mixture of surprise and delight... that's what motivates me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've worked in all sorts of bars all over the world and, more recently, owned a few bars and restaurants here in Vancouver. I've had a lot of fun.... a LOT of fun, lol, and I'm very proud of what I've accomplished on the way. But if I had to pick my biggest accomplishment as a business owner, I would have to say my new company, Edna's. It was a long and winding road to even get it to this point, and almost never happened, but with perseverance and a bit of fortune, and a great business partner, we eventually got there. As a multiple restaurant owner with three teenage boys, I'm no stranger to hard work, but at my age, to take a chance and effectively start from scratch it's a big challenge to take on. So to finally get Edna's off the ground, growing fast, and even picking up a few awards.... that, I think, is my biggest accomplishment.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I think the hardest thing is all the time and effort you have to devote to it. You want to, obviously, because it's your baby, and you want to see it succeed. But that comes with a lot of sacrifices, especially in the early days, whether it be financial, social, physical, mental, or whatever. There's a lot of pressure on you because you're that last line of defense. If things are going awry, it's always up to you to be picking up the pieces.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Make sure you love what you do; it has to be a labour of love, or don't bother. And keep it fun!
  2. Do your research, know your business inside out, and can't do it half-arsed.
  3. Try your best to achieve some balance in your life; it can't be all work work work. In the early days, that might be unavoidable, but definitely try and get that balance. You need that downtime to evaluate things and recharge those batteries. I find my best work ideas come when I'm completely detached from work.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Yes, shameless plug.....check out our website for all our fantastic retailers in Canada, or order directly from the site... it's the Summer of Edna's!! Thanks for having me!

Where can people find you and your business?