Partake is now the bestselling non-alcoholic beer brand in Canada
By Lauren Strapagiel | Oct 17, 2022
Ted Fleming is on a mission to make alcohol-free beer that’s just as tasty as anything you’d find at your local craft brewery. In 2017, the teetotalling entrepreneur founded Partake, a Calgary-based non-alcoholic-craft-beer business that has since expanded across the country and into the U.S. In the past year, Partake has raised US$16.5 million in funding and become the bestselling non-alcoholic beer brand in Canada.
Age: 45 Based in: Calgary Degrees: B.A.Sc. in geological engineering and B.A. in economics (Queen’s University)
I thought I’d grow up to be:
Well, my parents were very keen on professional pursuits, so I was pushed to become a doctor. I don’t particularly like the sight of blood and guts, though, so I wasn’t destined for it.
My major break:
I launched Partake as a Kickstarter. I had a goal of raising $10,000 and ended up raising $30,000.
My biggest growing pain:
Growing our team while trying to retain the core elements of what has made us successful, like innovation, nimbleness and the culture we’ve had as a small group. Making work fun sounds simple, but it’s a challenge to manage remotely with a decentralized team. We work hard to overcome this with regular social nights, group training and team-building events.
My most memorable mistake:
Our first batch of beer was not brewed correctly. I decided to be honest with customers and say “This batch was a mistake.” As it turned out, many of them said “I’ll take it anyway,” and I was able to sell quite a bit of the batch. We eventually got the recipe right and were able to meet the demands of the other customers. It was a pivotal moment for the company.