Young cafe owner to open ethical coffee roastery with prize money
HALIFAXâ€”Zane Kelsall now has the money he needs to open a roasting facility for ethical coffee.
The founder and owner of the two-and-a-half-year-old Two If By Sea CafĂ© in downtown Dartmouth won the highest number of votes, which gave him $100,000â€”the BDC Grand Prize for Innovation from the Business Development Bank of Canada,
The money goes to the top candidate for the 2012 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, which pays tribute to successful Canadian entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35.
Kelsall, who at the age of 27 has worked in the cafĂ© business for more than 10 years, won the award with his Anchored Coffee project, which will see him open a facility to roast coffee beans bought directly from farmers in Central and South America.
â€śWinning this prize is huge,â€ť says Kelsall, in a release. â€śThe $100,000 will essentially cover our roastery start-up costs. Instead of opening in a couple of years, it means we can move full speed ahead and grow our business to join the ranks of those making a real difference in the lives of coffee farmers and their communities much sooner.â€ť
He is currently seeking a location and hopes to have the roastery in operation by the new year.
Up front, there will be a tasting space where customers can try different coffees and take seminars and courses to learn more about direct trade and coffee. Two If By Sea CafĂ© staff will also be trained there.
This year, for the first time, the general public was asked to choose the grand prize winner. People voted online from May 30 to June 19 for what they believed was the most worthy of eight projects submitted in the competition.
Kelsall will keep a video journal of his project and post frequent updates on BDCâ€™s Young Entrepreneur Award contest site, as well as on Facebook at BDC Entrepreneur.