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Canoe Coffee Roasters in Kelowna forced to rebrand after legal action taken by US company

A Kelowna business shared some disappointing news today regarding the branding of their company.

Jen and David Upshaw have owned and operated Canoe Coffee Roasters since 2015, but in just over a week they’ll have to come up with a totally different name for their brand.

Bad news, Canoe fans! A certain multi-billion dollar titan company out of the USA is suing our little family-run business over a pretty questionable trademark issue. While we wish we could defend the awesome name we’ve built this company under, we simply don’t have the financial power to go up against this huge corporation in court. That means our only other option is to rebrand, so as we say hello to a new year we will be saying goodbye to the name “Canoe Coffee Roasters.” We’re totally sad, but also excited about all the possibilities that come with a fresh start! So, who better to help us find our new identity than the friends and fans who make us who we are? You know what we’re all about and what we stand for, so fire some true-to-Canoe name ideas at us! If we choose yours, you’ll get a year’s worth of coffee on us! All our love, from the team formerly known as Canoe ;)

A post shared by Canoe Coffee Roasters (@canoecoffeeroasters) on

“A certain multi-billion dollar titan company out of the USA is suing our little family-run business over a pretty questionable trademark issue,” the coffee company wrote in a post on social media.

“While we wish we could defend the awesome name we’ve built this company under, we simply don’t have the financial power to go up against this huge corporation in court. That means our only other option is to rebrand, so as we say hello to a new year we will be saying goodbye to the name ‘Canoe Coffee Roasters.’”

Jen told NowMedia that the rebrand will have to happen in 10 days (starting yesterday), and it will mean that the new name will have to be completely different.

They aren’t allowed to add a word, or spell canoe differently, although fans of the company have suggested it.

“It’s really hard to imagine calling our place anything other than Canoe Coffee Roasters,” said Jen. “We started this business four or five years ago with Dave roasting coffee beans using a hand-cranked homemade roasting apparatus on our hand-me-down barbeque.

“We chose the name canoe because it felt good to us – it felt reflective of the business we dreamed of creating,” she added.

Jen continued, explaining that they chose the name because it felt calming, connected to nature, and obviously, steeped in Canadian heritage.

Despite the disappointment of losing the original name, they’re finding the silver lining in the situation and are looking forward to a fresh new look for the company.

“We're really sad to lose that but we also know that changing our name doesn't intrinsically change who we are,” she said.

Jen and Dave, along with their staff, are prepared to devote quite a bit of time to rebranding over the holidays. They realize that they have the support of the community, and so they are asking for help from their fans in choosing a new name.

If you suggest a great name and they end up using it, you’ll win free coffee for a year. Let them know on Instagram @canoecoffeeroasters what you think they should call themselves.



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