Kelowna welcomes Bright Jenny to the coffee scene - InfoNews

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Kelowna welcomes Bright Jenny to the coffee scene

Bright Jenny opens today.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Bright Jenny
May 30, 2020 - 8:58 AM

It's not every day that a multi-billion dollar company comes in and demands that a local start-up changes everything, but that was the case with Kelowna's Canoe Coffee roasters

Today, coffee shop owners Jen and Dave Upshaw revealed the bright side of the seismic change that the behmoth company set off .

"We are immensely stoked and incredibly proud to introduce you to Bright Jenny. Rebranding wasn’t something we ever imagined doing, but now that we’re here we could not be more in love with what we’ve created. Thank you to everyone for the unwavering support and love as we hatched our new identity. We hope you dig it as much as we do," Bright Jenny's Facebook reveal read.

"The name Bright Jenny brings a few things together. First, we’ve always been on a mission to create coffees that are light, bright, sparkly, and true to origin. Coffee with personality. That’s where Jenny comes in. We’re named after our founder Dave’s wife, who is a sparkly character and kind of his muse and inspiration. She’s also the reason our business started in the first place — It’s a pretty funny story."

Jen feels pretty bashful that she is the name inspiration, but agrees the name has a great sound.

The coffee shop has also expanded, into the Bright Lab, which is located right across the courtyard from the café.

It's an open-concept warehouse space that will be home to extra café seating, coffee classes, concerts, and so much more. It’s also an extremely cool rentable event space.

Canoe Coffee Roasters started providing specialty coffee in 2015 out of a trailer that became a Kelowna hotspot. It grew into a roastery and cafe in the North End earlier this year, and have been “grounding coffee lovers” with their specialty blends ever since.

It was October 2019 when they were contacted by a large U.S. company that they've been advised not to name. Lawyers for the company that owns resorts, theme parks and a small coffee company that shares the Canoe name in some form said the Kelowna roastery couldn’t share its name any longer.

“We had our lawyers look at it, and they said they didn’t think it was anything too serious,” Jen said, in December. “Usually these companies shake you down with a threatening letter and nothing comes of it.”

The Upshaws’ lawyer responded, said they wouldn’t comply with the request and that it was not trademark infringement for several reasons.

“Then we got a message saying they would take us to federal court if we did not stop using our name and we have 10 days to comply,” she said.

They agreed to stop using the name, and stretched it out until June 1.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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