Lake of the Woods Brewing Company
Q: Tell us about your social enterprise. What is your purpose or mission? What services or products do you offer? Who do you offer your services to? How long have you been running?
A: Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is a for-profit craft brewing company guided by social impact policies with a stated purpose: to give back to the places that we live, work and play in by paying close attention to the communities that we serve. We take corporate social responsibility seriously. We think outside the box. We are committed to philanthropy. Since we first opened our doors in June 2013, we have supported and strengthened community events and developed community partnerships, with an ethos that better communities equals better business.
Q: Tell us about scaling up your social enterprise. Why are you looking to increase your business? Why are you doing this now? How are you scaling up? (More employees, more products/services, more locations, etc.?) How are you reaching your preferred market?
A: Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is in the process of applying for B Corp Certification (Canada). We hope to join a growing number of business, across all sectors, that continuously strive to lead the charge in using business as a force for good in this country. Lake of the Woods Brewing Company shares a strong alignment to the core Canadian values that represent the very best of the Canadian ideal: inclusion, sustainability, equity, and diversity. We want to be a part of an incredible group of forward-thinking business leaders who are putting social and environmental impact right alongside company profits.
Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is expanding and we will be serving even more people our local, fresh, handcrafted beer in Manitoba, Minnesota and Ontario. Our mandate is “excellence in everything we do” and we are carrying over that same passion and commitment to scaling up, our social enterprise activities. In the coming weeks and months, we will be better defining our goals and objectives and sharing those – both internally and externally. Building alliances is an overarching goal and we can’t wait to get started.
Q: Tell us about the challenges you face while scaling up. What kind of challenges are you facing and how are you overcoming them? What advice would you have for other social enterprises who may wish to scale up?
A: Our next big step is to be “B Corp Certified”. (This certification is granted to for-profit companies that have proven their overall social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.) That will be our jumping off point. Finding the time in an already busy schedule might be one of our biggest hurdles. We have a lot of competing priorities BUT we know that taking this next big step will ensure that our commitment to shapeshifting all of our efforts and endeavours, stays strong. We want to be the change we wish to see and every minute, hour, day, and week matters. We are dedicated to being a leader and doing everything we can to be good stewards: for the common good and for the environment.
Q: What advice do you wish you could give to yourself as a start-up?
A: Be bold. Be creative. Jump right in. Find some friends along the way. More hands make light work.
Q: What is your personal or professional background? Do you have previous experience in business or your sector?
A: The community development portfolio is a shared responsibility. It is driven by the philosophies and guiding principles of five owners and community builders and managed by a senior staff of dedicated individuals who are all working together, pulling in the same direction and for the common good. We have experience in a variety of disciplines and industry sectors including (but not limited to): culinary tourism, arts and culture, financial management, construction, graphic design and marketing, communications, and hospitality. As a craft brewing company, our greatest strength lies in our diversity. There is strength in numbers and Lake of the Woods Brewing Company works hard to engage the support of volunteers, activists, disruptors and community leaders.