Small Business Profile: Ian Macdonald from Brewer Eats

Brewer Eats is a new business that was launched in response to COVID-19. Ian Macdonald and his team at Brewer Eats help support local restaurants and breweries/cideries while helping people stay safe by avoiding extra shopping trips. They connect consumers with their favourite independent craft brewers and cideries through their online store, where you can select your favourite beers and ciders, and checkout with a food pairing. Delivery is contactless and arrives right to your door.

How did you get your start?

We started our business on April 1, 2020 in response to virtually all restaurants closing to support the flattening of the curve. When the Ontario government enabled restaurants to sell alcohol to go with a food item, we realized that many restaurants did not have an immediate online platform to do this, so we built Brewer Eats. We partnered with Dick Duff's Organic Jerky to provide a shelf stable high-quality food items to pair with the beer and cider. Since then, we've done over 250 orders and the site is growing every day.

How has your business adapted to the current COVID-19 environment and how has your customer reacted?

We adapted by going online thanks to the new changes by the Ontario government. Our consumers have flocked to the online store. Many of them have written us touching notes saying they are so thankful as they (or members are of their household) are at risk or immuno-compromised, so they have been scared to leave their homes. Brewer Eats helps them get their favourite brands and keeps them safe at the same time.

What’s your greatest struggle as a business owner right now?

Creating awareness. We are new and we need help to get the word out as this is the first time Ontarians can order beer and food together online, and have it delivered right to their door. It is a new channel for many people!

Where do you think entrepreneurs should invest their time and money?

Solving people's problems and bringing forward solutions is at the heart of entrepreneurship. My advice is that entrepreneurs should always be listening to consumers for what they need and then building the best solution possible. If you do that, you're going to make people happy and create value for everyone along the way.

What keeps you inspired and working every day?

Creating value for others to help them achieve their goals and delighting consumers with our new and interesting flavours.

You’ve been a Staples Preferred member for 5 years now, what do you like most about the program?

The convenience. In a small business it is so easy to run out of things and it just stops your day. Staples is so fast, and we can just pop online to get everything we need to keep us going.

Get in touch with Ian and Brewer Eats by visiting or following them on Instagram @brewereats.

By Staples Canada

May 14, 2020

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