Vodka distillery owners leaving P.E.I.

Teresa Wright
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Loretta Campbell is a spirited spirit ambassador at Prince Edward Distillery, which is one of the many distilleries and wineries that can be found on the Points East Coastal Drive.

The owners of a potato vodka distillery in eastern P.E.I. are leaving the province in part over concerns about the wind farm development in their community.

Arla Johnson, one of the owners of the Prince Edward Distillery in Hermanville, says she and her partner, Julie Shore, are opening a second distillery in Nova Scotia.

Operations in P.E.I. will continue, but the two owners are moving to the mainland due to their concern over the Hermanville-Clear Springs wind farm project.

“We have chosen to relocate to Nova Scotia, Julie and I, because we refuse to live under the windmills,” Johnson said.

“However, we’re still going to operate the Prince Edward Distillery.”

Shore was a vocal opponent of the wind farm during the initial approval phase of the project in 2012. In her role as the spokesperson for the Hermanville-Clear Springs Property Owners Association, she urged the provincial government to reconsider the project, citing concerns over diminished property values and potential negative health effects.

The project went ahead after 71 per cent of area landowners within a one-kilometre area around the development site signed agreements with the province for the 30-megawatt wind farm development.

Johnson did not offer any details about how their distillery in P.E.I. will be affected by their move or what their plans are for the new Nova Scotia branch of their operations.

But they did say the business in Hermanville would continue.

“Julie and I have chosen to expand our distillery and open up another one in Nova Scotia, but Prince Edward Distillery is still there,” Johnson said.

“Prince Edward Distillery will still be made and sold there on P.E.I.”

The Prince Edward Distillery has been the recipient of several government grants.

Since 2009, the company received a total of $73,678 from the provincial government in the form of marketing and trade assistance, including a grant for craft brewers and distillers.

The company also received a conditionally repayable grant from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) of $75,000 in 2009-10 to build markets in Germany and Japan.

ACOA would not provide details on the terms and conditions of this grant, citing client confidentiality.

The Prince Edward Distillery also received funds through the Provincial Nominee Program. It was included in the official list of recipient companies, released by the province in 2012 after a judicial review of an access-to-information request ruled the information should be made public.

The provincial corporate registry lists four Chinese directors as officers in the company along with Shore, Johnson and three other individuals.

The Prince Edward Distillery’s flagship product is vodka made from P.E.I. potatoes.

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Hermanville-Clear Springs Property Owners Association

Geographic location: Eastern P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Hermanville Germany Japan

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • w kennedy
    March 24, 2014 - 23:37

    ...seven investors government monies, what would gov. take be now? Wait for liquor stores gov. money maker to be "privatized" like Alberta. Even though it made money the dogma was private enterprise was good unconditionally. CNR sold, Air Canada, Petro- Can . Everything that wast bolted down and some that was???

  • Dennis
    March 24, 2014 - 08:29

    I'm a Grey Goose fan and I truly enjoy the Blueberry and PEI Potato Vodka that is produced by Prince Edward Island Distillery. Quality local ingedients and passionate ccraftsmanship have contributed to this award winning product. Best of luck to Julie and Arla as they will be successful, responsible and passionate in whatever new endeavor they undertake.

  • Marcel
    March 23, 2014 - 23:44

    This vodka is over priced and worse then lysol. To imagine that they can price this higher then award winning goose or belvee. Is insane.

  • Marcia
    March 23, 2014 - 15:48

    There is documented proof, from around the world, that there have been bad health effects from windmills to some people. IF you doubt that, do your research.

  • Julie and Arla
    March 23, 2014 - 15:40

    Everyone should really take notice of this article , its placement in the paper and the continued lack of facts. What is the "story"? It sounds more like a personal attack. Feeling the reality of the Lobster being pulled back into the box. Shouldn't the story really be about a successful company started (and continuing ) on Prince Edward Island grows into new market and Brand ? It certainly isn't about the horrors a community faces when government comes with a wind project. When were contacted by this reported she said to us "her editor has told her to run the story with or without our comments" No concern for reporting the facts.

    • north shore informed
      March 26, 2014 - 09:49

      Firstly does anyone else see the irony in a distillery that sells product proven beyond the shadow of a doubt to ruin lives, physically, mentally and financially, should take exception to a "green" technology that their buildings don't even face. They came from the USA with promises of enriching the local economy and positive social benefits for all, perhaps even local employment, they even went door to door at first trying to build trust and asking all to sign a petition to permit them to operate. Well time has passed, profits have been made , money has been exploited from local government and taxpayers to help these Canadians by convenience , as of yet not even one free tour has been offered to the locals let alone employment.. There is clearly no evidence of any appreciation of the locals support, there can be no mistake of the exploitive nature of these shrewd Americans. To make matters worse these people now blame the locals on their "plight" and will leave as the perceived victims in all this, but when they leave they will be taking a large chunk of this provinces trust and tax dollars with them. Incidents such as this leave a bad taste in the mouth of locals that were foolish enough to take these people in on trust at face value, making it even harder on the next bunch of outsiders that see our fair island as nothing more than a stepping stone to use to their path to wealth.

  • Julie and Arla
    March 23, 2014 - 15:39

    Everyone should really take notice of this article , its placement in the paper and the continued lack of facts. What is the "story"? It sounds more like a personal attack. Feeling the reality of the Lobster being pulled back into the box. Shouldn't the story really be about a successful company started (and continuing ) on Prince Edward Island grows into new market and Brand ? It certainly isn't about the horrors a community faces when government comes with a wind project. When were contacted by this reported she said to us "her editor has told her to run the story with or without our comments" No concern for reporting the facts.

  • Julie and Arla
    March 23, 2014 - 15:38

    Everyone should really take notice of this article , its placement in the paper and the continued lack of facts. What is the "story"? It sounds more like a personal attack. Feeling the reality of the Lobster being pulled back into the box. Shouldn't the story really be about a successful company started (and continuing ) on Prince Edward Island grows into new market and Brand ? It certainly isn't about the horrors a community faces when government comes with a wind project. When were contacted by this reported she said to us "her editor has told her to run the story with or without our comments" No concern for reporting the facts.

  • Julie and Arla
    March 23, 2014 - 15:37

    Everyone should really take notice of this article , its placement in the paper and the continued lack of facts. What is the "story"? It sounds more like a personal attack. Feeling the reality of the Lobster being pulled back into the box. Shouldn't the story really be about a successful company started (and continuing ) on Prince Edward Island grows into new market and Brand ? It certainly isn't about the horrors a community faces when government comes with a wind project. When were contacted by this reported she said to us "her editor has told her to run the story with or without our comments" No concern for reporting the facts.

  • Piet Hein
    March 23, 2014 - 15:30

    I would say they are leaving because of the uneducated, pitchfork carrying rabble led by morons like Marcel, Brian and of course everyone's favourite idiot Don who blames the Liberals for all the bad things that happen to him. Of course a close second in idiocy and really stupid comments are Awful Stuff, Brent Eamer and of course Garth Staples the old Tory hack who rivals Don in his attacks on Liberals. If I have missed anyone you know who you are and unfortunately you tend to make your presence known quite often. I wish YOU clowns would take your child like mentality and move away and then maybe decent people will be spared your comments.

  • Marcel
    March 23, 2014 - 14:41

    This vodka is over priced and awful.. To imagine that they can price this higher then award winning goose or belvee. Is insane.

  • ivor sargent
    March 22, 2014 - 09:12

    Dear Editor, There is a significant factual error in your statement: "The project went ahead after 71 per cent of area landowners within a one-kilometre area around the development site signed agreements with the province for the 30-megawatt wind farm development." Although it is true that Minister Sheridan based his entire case on the "71% approval" rating, it is also true that he refused to substantiate that claim- or to allow a vote among Clearsprings/Hermanville landowners. The real truth was inadvertently revealed within an innocuous Table 2.1 of the official Environmental Impact Assessment: Forty-seven agreements were signed, but only nine were signed by Clearsprings/Hermanville landowners. The Eastern Graphic published a full article which verifies that Sheridan misled the public with false information. Please go to the following link http://peicanada.com/eastern_graphic/publication/wind_turbine_opponent_spots_flaws_environmental_study The remainder of the agreements related to transmission lines up to ten km outside of the community. There are over 120 private landowners in Clearspring/Hermanville , almost all of whom were strongly opposed to the windplant project and the devaluation of their properties. An 89 acre waterfront parcel in Clearspring was recently sold for less than 20% of its market value just a few years ago. The windfarm has already had a devastating effect on the immediate community..and the worst is yet to come.

  • Brian
    March 21, 2014 - 20:18

    Good riddance. Ironic that she complains about 'potential negative' health effects of wind turbines (which is nonsense to anyone with half a brain), at the same time as selling low-quality vodka.

  • justin
    March 21, 2014 - 16:08

    I think this is just a ploy to get more money from another government. I was recently at their distillery and I did not notice any turbines close by. The turbines are pretty easy to see and there are none close to their facility or inn. This sounds more like a ploy then anything.

  • Mary j
    March 21, 2014 - 15:48

    Sad day on pei. Two of the nicest people I have ever met on the island.

    • Garth Staples
      March 22, 2014 - 17:53

      And they were "from away".

  • Billy
    March 21, 2014 - 15:18

    Does that mean we have one less product for the new liquor store selling only pei products.

  • Scott
    March 21, 2014 - 11:36

    The real reason they are leaving is because of all the negative (albeit entertaining) comments on the guardian website. They finally realized what a bunch of self entitled, pretentious, complain about anything and everything people you all are.

    • Proud islander
      March 23, 2014 - 14:24

      You are mistaking us for Ontarionites Scott.

  • Listen To Yourselves
    March 21, 2014 - 10:23

    What a bunch of BS you people are spouting off . You rave on about this green power . Have you ever looked at how much of this green power you as Islanders will get to use . Only if you move to New England will you see any . The laugh is on you , all you get is the noise - pollution & health risks along with the higher taxes used to build this setup .

    • LA
      March 21, 2014 - 11:03

      Instead of ranting like the worst of the people you're complaining about, how about you make a rational, informed, mature rebuttal and then I'll listen to you. As it stands your opinion is no more confidence-inspiring than anyone else's and you need to take your own advice about listening to yourself.

    • Randy Campbell
      March 21, 2014 - 11:19

      It doesn't matter who uses it. Wind power offsets other options like coal power. The economy is going to have to run on non-fossil fuel power someday, and most steps toward it are positive steps forward. Most importantly, the effects of climate change to need a passport. So when Americans, or Europeans, or Venezualans reduces carbon emissions, PEI is less likely to have to replace all our wharves and causeways, and build dikes around Downtown charlottetown, and deal with increasing weather extremes.

    • Garth Staples
      March 21, 2014 - 13:07

      Randy Campbell The old liberal lie has just been presented.

  • Awful stuff
    March 21, 2014 - 10:15

    I love vodka, but I bought a bottle of that stuff while home on PEI two summers ago and it still sits on my shelf, barely touched. Undrinkable.

  • tired of hearing it
    March 21, 2014 - 10:00

    well i guess they stayed longer then some who got Government Grants from us ,I will wait and see how long it will be before they drop the Island one , or if they will statistcally ,be a case got enough from us to go where they wanted to be in the first place we seem to be an easy target to get money from and move on to bad the poor people living in the streets couldnt be so lucky!We cant even give them a hand up unless they ave an address ,which is pretty hard when they live on a corner somewhere!

  • don
    March 21, 2014 - 09:28

    good bye and i hope you never come back. but the wind will always supply power for your booze. so as far as i'm concerned the money is going to time to move on. you got more money from the tax payers in NS.

  • Will the Spirited Spirits Remain
    March 21, 2014 - 09:07

    Very flattering photograph of a spirited spirit on the stuff?

  • Brent Eamer
    March 21, 2014 - 08:52

    Yes, please repay those grants or loans and be gone. Nimby strikes again. Maybe that wind power provides some of the electricity for your operation?

  • Clean green enerfy
    March 21, 2014 - 08:42

    Hate to burst her bubble, but wind turbines are in NS too.

  • Just Wondering
    March 21, 2014 - 08:21

    Wind turbines are likely more healthy for you than vodka flyin’ all-over-the-place!

  • townie22
    March 21, 2014 - 08:17

    sorry you don't like green energy. i suppose if you don't like Government decisions you could always return the grants, subsidies, etc., then go somewhere that uses oil, coal, nuclear, etc. energy.

    • huh
      March 21, 2014 - 11:30

      supporting green energy and wanting to live next to windmills just might be two different things. But, we're on an online forum so anger and odd conclusions are required. Trample on!

    • Garth Staples
      March 21, 2014 - 13:10

      PEI uses Nuclear energy!

  • David Polk
    March 21, 2014 - 08:07

    Couldn't wind turbines be built off shore?