On the Grind in the Great White North

Without lacking notoriety, versatility or ferocity, the Canadian Armed Forces are a considerably smaller fighting force in comparison their coalition partners in the United States.  Because of this, sometimes their veteran neighbors south of the border receive more attention in the entrepreneurial efforts, as U.S. veterans pioneer different areas of business while serving and after transitioning out of the military.

Arrowhead Coffee Company began with the founders deployed with the Canadian Armed Forces, jonesing for coffee at least a little bit better than what was offered from the chow hall.  When they began ordering coffee from a local roaster in Will’s hometown, they got the idea to make their mark by providing quality coffee in a package that could be related to by Canadian civilians and soldiers alike.  As the orders came, the boys shared with their unit and had “tasting nights” while still deployed so they could perfect the initial blends from Arrowhead Coffee Company.

Although a striking profile, the logo isn’t all that ACC has going for them. Despite inquiries about the origin of the coffee, it is not simply “rebagged,” as the guys understand that what sales you may gain off a good logo can just as easily be lost off a subpar product. While purchasing their custom blends from a local roaster at the moment, the long term goal is to eventually grow enough as a business to establish their own facility. In the mean time, their partners provide them with an exceptional product.

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It seems as though the amount of veteran companies, promoting polarization far outweighs those who make solidarity with the civilian population a priority.  Many veteran owned brands create clothing, services and media that reflect their time in service and that their fellow veterans can relate to but it’s rare to find companies that shy away from that. Will and Cam created Arrowhead Coffee with several goals in mind but merging veteran symbolism with Canadian culture was at the forefront.

Although the rest of the world may not know it, Canadian culture extends far beyond maple syrup, Mounties and French fries with cheese curds, drenched in gravy.  Currently in its 150th year as a confederated country, Canada holds just as many unique customs as it has in common with its North American neighbors in the U.S.  One thing they don’t have in common is the amount of Canadian veteran owned businesses and that’s something that ACC wants to see change. If they continue to network and grow as they have been, I have no doubt we will see a shift in power. At the very least, the Canadian market will begin to see more growth of organic veteran owned businesses. If the exchange rate remains in favor of the American dollar, Arrowhead Coffee Company’s neighbors to the south would be foolish not to test out coffee from the great white north.

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