BC-based Church Spirits & Ales is among a growing group of Canadian distillers run by women. CEO Catherine Church is quickly gaining a reputation as a competitive business head in the industry she and partner / co-founder, Michael Rosser, have come to love.
Much has been written about the women behind some of the most successful craft distilleries – in fact, it has been the subject of a seven-part series in Forbes magazine. The thesis: that while this industry has dominated by men for hundreds of years, when allowed onto the playing field, women not only hold their own, they’re competitive among the best brands.
Diversity abounds and these women distillers bring their game through a variety of channels. Some establish leadership through their noses, creating superior product. Some bring business heads –assembling the elements that will make them stand out from the rest. Still others have the knack for brilliant marketing.
“I didn’t set out to be an anomaly – a woman distiller in a throng of men. I just knew what I wanted – to bring my business acumen to this rising industry and create a successful company,” said Church. Church’s husband, Michael Rosser, has had a long-time passion for distilling and brewing; it didn’t take much for her to see this as a dynamic combination.
Appealing to Church is the camaraderie she’s finding with the other women CEOs and distillery leaders. “I’m in a good crowd: passionate, smart, forward-thinking people. Here in Canada, I follow Martha Lowry at the Mill Street Brewery & Distillery in Toronto, Lorien Schramm at Pemberton Distilling, and Kirsten Titcomb from DeVine Wine & Spirits on Vancouver Island — to name just a few. There’s even an association of women distillers who are committed to upping the game for women in this industry.”
Church Spirits & Ales is based in Victoria, BC and is on the verge of breaking ground for its new facility in Saanich. It will take full advantage of BC tax breaks, the most pristine natural ingredients BC offers, and product development through partnership with of some of the world’s most renowned distillers.