TORONTO, Canada – The Coffee Association of Canada (CAC), a pivotal force in the nation’s thriving coffee industry, is thrilled to announce the winners of its first-ever “Exemplifying Excellence in the Coffee Community Awards.” This prestigious awards program, designed to recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions to the Canadian coffee landscape, culminated in an exhilarating ceremony at the CAC Conference in Toronto on November 9, 2023.
The winners of the 2023 Exemplifying Excellence in the Coffee Community Awards are:
Innovative Achievement of the Year
The award for Innovative Achievement of the Year was presented to Muna Mohammed and Eight50 Coffee for their groundbreaking Cascara Hashara Coffee beverage. This innovative drink, renowned for its novel use of the coffee cherry, was lauded for its upcycled aspect, aligning perfectly with the sustainability and environmental values that the CAC upholds.
Small Chain — Big Impact Award
Christine Cruz-Clarke and Balzac’s Coffee received the Small Chain — Big Impact Award. This award shines a spotlight on a coffee business that, despite its size, is creating significant industry buzz. Balzac’s Coffee Roasters stood out for their exceptional support of women in the coffee industry and the wider community.
Volunteer of the Year
The Volunteer of the Year honor was awarded to two remarkable individuals – Michael Forian-Zytynsky from Keurig Dr Pepper and Caitlin McClung from Tim Hortons. Their tireless work organizing the Advocacy Day in Ottawa exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism that drives the CAC forward.
Coffee Industry Lifetime Achievement Award
The prestigious Coffee Industry Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon Michael Higgins and Paul Higgins Jr. from Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee. These two industry titans have made long-lasting and groundbreaking contributions to the Canadian coffee industry, with initiatives like WaterWise and OneTree serving as testaments to their commitment and impact.
“The Exemplifying Excellence in the Coffee Community Awards is not just about recognizing achievement; it’s about honoring the spirit and passion that each of these winners brings to the coffee industry,” said Robert Carter, president of the Coffee Association of Canada. “We are thrilled to celebrate with them today, and we are even more excited about working with them in the future to ensure that Canada’s coffee industry prospers.”
The Coffee Association of Canada extends its heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and expresses gratitude to everyone who submitted nominations. The success of this inaugural awards program sets a high standard for recognizing excellence in the Canadian coffee industry in the years to come.
“We’re taking coffee a step further by diversifying our products and thinking beyond the bean while leaning into ancient coffee traditions and powering forward with innovation —The Coffee Cherry is a coffee by-product and has now become the foundation for our delicious & refreshing sparkling Cascara hashara beverages,” said Muna Mohammed, Founder and CEO of Eight50 Coffee. “Thank you for recognizing Eight50 Coffee for this inaugural Innovative Achievement Award!”
“For 30 years, the authentic connections we built have been the consistent source of magic in our brand,” said Christine Cruz-Clarke, Chief Executive Officer at Balzac’s Coffee. “From responsible sourcing and sustainable practices to championing diversity and inclusion, Balzac’s is a proudly Canadian small business brewing positive change. Through our actions, we create moments to savor thanks to our coffee-passionate team.”
“As a proud Canadian company celebrating 110 years, this award is a great honour for all the Mother Parkers family past and present,” said the Higgins Family.
About the Coffee Association of Canada
The Coffee Association of Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and enjoyment of coffee in Canada. For over 20 years, the CAC has been a champion for its diverse membership, including roasters, retailers, importers, suppliers, and coffee aficionados. Our vision is to be the industry expert and advocate for the Canadian coffee community, ensuring a prosperous future for the coffee industry.