Kelowna's Canoe Coffee Roasters has new name in the works | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna's Canoe Coffee Roasters has new name in the works

Canoe Coffee is going to change its name.
Image Credit: SUBM ITTED/ Canoe Coffee Roasters
January 04, 2020 - 3:30 PM

A popular Kelowna coffee roaster that was forced to change its name in the wake of a "multi-billion-dollar" company threatening  legal action over a similarly branded offshoot is headed into a new year with a lot of support and some great new ideas.

Jen and David Upshaw, the owners of Kelowna's Canoe Coffee Roasters, were given 10 days notice in late December to change the brand they built, lest they face a legal battle with a sizeable corporation.

Knowing that the costs were somewhere in the area of $150,000 Jen said they decided that the best, albeit upsetting, tack was to change the branding and she and David issued a call for new ideas.

Hundreds of suggestions rolled in in a matter of days and they read them all.

"As a quick update, we’ve narrowed down a huge and amazing list of new name suggestions to our top few picks and have a legal team going through each one to make sure the one we choose is ironclad against any potential future trademark issues," she said, in a Facebook post.

"We’re also in negotiation for a possible grace period, which would allow us to more gradually phase out the “Canoe” brand while we work on creating our new identity. We are So excited to share the big, beautiful changes we have coming in 2020 with you, but for now the sign stays up, the name stays the same, and (most importantly) the (delicious) coffee keeps flowing."

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.

While the Upshaws are taking the positive path forward, being informed that the brand they built was being dismantled wasn't easy.

“We were speechless for a couple of minutes —basically this is a huge corporation that has decided that its name is too close to one of their small offshoot company’s names and have threatened crippling legal action,” Jen said at the time.

The new name, she said, would have to be as good as Canoe, which they chose because it was something calming, sustainable, active and steeped in Canadian heritage.

“We’re sad to lose that but changing the name won’t change who we are,” she said. “We have to rebrand, get fresh and create again.”

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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