Just five short months ago Nicole Hynes started her own brewing company. She wanted to be connected to the ‘food vibe’ in the city and thought that by introducing a crisp and golden seasonal ale to the market she just might be able to do just that. Well, less than half a year into the game and you’ll already find Sweetgrass Brewing Co. (named for the aromatic herb native to Georgian Bay) stocked in hot Toronto bars and restaurants like 416 Snack Bar, 7 Numbers, The Emmet Ray, Betty’s, and more. We don’t know about you but success smells pretty sweet to us…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I sell delicious beer, co-run a restaurant and am a mom to an awesome toddler.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I’ve never been very good at working for others so I started a company. The inspiration has been, and continues to be, the drink and food culture in Toronto. Sweetgrass Brewing Co. allows me to be a small part of it AND still get home to put my boy (2.9 years old) to bed.
And the inspiration for your beer?
Sweetgrass as a brand was conceived on this incredible island in Georgian Bay where wild Sweetgrass grows. It’s a beautiful place of good times, good food, and calm for me. Our first beer, the Golden Ale, is inspired by deliciousness.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is when a sales call turns into a friendship over beers.
The most challenging part is getting a meeting.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
I haven’t been to a movie or the theatre in well over a year.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have lots of plans and dreams but knowing how different life was only 5 years ago…
In a perfect world, I will be leaving my east end brewery to pick up a bottle of bubbles to celebrate my 10 year wedding anniversary.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Courage. Finding the courage to start, to continue and to keep on keeping on.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Dolla dolla bills yo. But seriously, it looks like this:
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
It’s too early to ask that! Let’s do this again next year. I only launched September 2, 2013
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
No but I’ll take some.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
There are lots of places I love to ‘wine and dine’ in Toronto. BUT, I love hanging out at The Auld Spot on Danforth. It’s my husband’s place and there is always someone to talk too and the food is awesome. Not to mention Sweetgrass is always on tap!
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
Sorry. What’s me time?
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Cape Town, South Africa and Santa Teresa, Costa Rica hold special places in my heart.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Not sure about a theme song but Big Rock Candy Mountain by Harry McClintock makes me really happy.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Maybe still searching for Sweetgrass.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I do! I run Movies in the Park. It’s a summer series of free movies in Riverdale Park East. Funds raised (through onscreen advertising) go to local kids charities – Art City, St. James Town, Boys & Girls Clubs and Emily’s House. Check it out! @moviesriverdale
What to you is notable?
Kind deeds. Love.
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#LYNL | Live Your Notable Life