Q & A with Our Local Sales Rep, Ethan Martel!
This month we sat down with a “go getter’ Thornbury Craft employee, Mr. Ethan Martel! Ethan has worked for Thornbury Craft for just under two years and has taken on countless roles in his time as an employee. From tap room serving, to conducting tours of the facility, to helping in production, he has been a great asset to the company and is passionate about the craft beverage industry. This year, Ethan was promoted to a Sales Position which consists of servicing new accounts in the South Georgian Bay area. To learn more about Ethan and his experience at Thornbury, read our Q & A below!
How long have you been a part of Thornbury Village Craft?
I will have been here 2 years, as of January 2021.
What is your position? And can you tell us what inspired you to work in the craft beer and cider industry?
My official position title is Licensee Area Manager. I’m mostly responsible for client acquisition and service, which involves bars, restaurants, golf courses, etc. I service these accounts with deliveries and promotional materials. I initially got into the craft alcohol industry, because when I first became of legal drinking age, my parents used to take me around to wine regions in Ontario such as Prince Edward County and Niagara. From then on, I really wanted to own a winery. I studied Hospitality and Tourism at Georgian College, and then moved on to get a diploma in Business as I enjoyed the finance side of things more. It’s still an idea that’s on the back burner, that eventually one day become an executive of an alcohol company or own one myself.
I was born in Toronto, and then moved up to Stayner, Ontario. I grew up there, and now live in Collingwood. I’m a really outdoorsy guy, and enjoy hiking anywhere around the escarpment.
Tell us a fun fact about Thornbury Craft beer or cider!
When we say that Thornbury Craft cider is made with “fresh pressed apples” many people wonder how we can have fresh pressed apples in April, when it’s not apple season. Our apple supplier has a process where they control the quality of the apples. They put them into a tank where they reduce the oxygen so the apples don’t go bad. So when we say “fresh pressed”, even if it’s April 3rd, they could have pressed the apples the day before and we could get the juice two days later for our cider.
If you had to choose a favourite licensee in the area to sit back and enjoy some great food paired with a Thornbury beverage, where might that be?
All of my licensees are my favourite.
What Thornbury initiative makes you most proud?
When COVID first hit in the spring, many Thornbury staff ended up in production assisting with the high demands of canned and bottled products going out. It was important to us to support our local restaurants, and we made a habit of buying lunch from a different spot at least 4 days of the week to show our support. These restaurants are people who have supported our product, and we wanted to return the favour when it mattered most.
The Ontario Craft Beer and Cider industry has grown exponentially in the last decade. How do you feel Thornbury stands out?
Consistent quality. We have been Ontario’s top Craft Cider at the LCBO for quite some time. It’s impressive to keep that carrying over, but it’s also important to diversify. I believe we also stand out with the different products we have.
You’ve worked for Thornbury for nearly 2 years now. Tell us your fondest memory as an employee!
My fondest memory would be in May of this year. I had just officially got to my new position. It was an unusual time to start a sales job that deals almost exclusively with food and drink establishments. My first new account was Dunadel Golf Course just outside of Dundalk. It was such a great feeling, and the first account to take a chance on a young man serving alcohol during a pandemic. It meant a lot for me to have someone think my time and our product were worth while, even through such unsure times.
What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead at Thornbury?
First thing is the completion of our brewery expansion project. Second, is for our building (hopefully) to be able to open safely again for tours. It would be great for me to bring in some of my local accounts, and give them a tour around the building and let them sample products. I have worked as a tour guide and in production. It would be very nice to be able to give my licensee’s the full experience on how Thornbury Craft products are made.
We try not to pick favourites, but everyone has one! Ethan, what is your favourite Thornbury craft beer and cider?
Beer: Amber Lager. It’s a delicious beer that has just the right amount of flavour and profile, but it’s not too hoppy, bitter, or sweet.
Cider: Premium Craft Apple Cider. The one we’ve been doing since the beginning. You can enjoy it on any occasion!
Thornbury Village Cider & Brew House