Powell River coffee roasters win business prize

32 Lakes Coffee Roasters has won the $10,000 grand prize in the Build Back Better Challenge, a contest offered for entrepreneurs in various BC communities throughout December 2020 and January 2021.

“We were thrilled to win,” stated Margot Jantz in a media release

Jantz and her husband Nathan founded 32 Lakes Coffee Roasters in 2012.

“It’s such an honour to be chosen, and we’re planning on making good use of the money to expand our business into the future,” she added.

In announcing the prize winners, Spring Activator, the organization that sponsored the challenge, noted 32 Lakes’ growth plan but also their environment and social commitments.

“We love how they offer a range of specialty coffees for every coffee lover while celebrating the coffee farms they work with and striving to lead change on environmental and social issues,” stated Spring Activator in a blog post. “They not only ‘talk their talk’ but also ‘walk their walk’ on two fronts: impact and business.”

32 Lakes Coffee Roasters began with a small home roaster and a stall at the Powell River Farmers’ Market. Now, they have a dedicated roasting facility, and their coffee is available in several grocery stores on the Sunshine Coast as well as online at 32lakes.com. They were recently awarded a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Business certification and a Green level certification from Vancouver Island Green Business Collective, as well as Rainforest Alliance certification. They also made changes to become a certified carbon-neutral business.

“We’d reached a point just before the pandemic that we needed to consider expanding,” stated Margot. “Our plan is to have our coffee more widely available across Vancouver Island, which means we need to expand our roasting capacity. The prize money will go a long way towards helping us expand in a way that will continue to meet our environmental and social needs.”

Margot is now working on implementing the winning 32 Lakes growth plan.

“Our goal is to make Powell River proud,” she stated. “We got our start right here, and we plan to be a part of this community for a long time.”

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