Steve Kuffler and Justin Atterbury of Taynton Bay Spirits appear on Dragons’ Den. FACEBOOK PHOTO

Steve Kuffler and Justin Atterbury of Taynton Bay Spirits appear on Dragons’ Den. FACEBOOK PHOTO

Former Port Alberni grad pitches to Dragons’ Den

Justin Atterbury is the co-owner of Taynton Bay Spirits in Invermere, B.C.

A pair of entrepreneurs that will be appearing on Dragons’ Den this week have a Port Alberni connection.

Business partners Justin Atterbury and Steve Kuffler are the owners of Taynton Bay Spirits in Invermere, B.C. Earlier this year, they appeared before the dragons on CBC’s Dragons’ Den to ask for $125,000 for a seven per cent share of their company. The episode will be airing to the public on Thursday, Nov. 14.

But although the business partners reside in B.C.’s Interior, Atterbury has roots in the Vancouver Island town of Port Alberni.

“I grew up in Port Alberni,” explained Atterbury. “I basically lived there my whole life.”

Atterbury graduated from Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) in 1998 and left a few years later, eventually opening a restaurant and pub. Taynton Bay Spirits started up around two and a half years ago, but the idea is something that Atterbury said started around seven years ago, as he was looking for something to fill an empty space on the ground level of his restaurant, The Station Neighbourhood Pub. This became Taynton Bay Spirits’ tasting room.

Now, two and a half years later, Taynton Bay Spirits are available in 250 stores across B.C.

“It’s growing pretty rapidly,” added Atterbury.

Taynton Bay Spirits has curated a line of 100 per cent all natural infused vodka and gin using loose leaf tea. The spirits are distilled in Invermere using only real ingredients—no artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners.

Atterbury and Kuffler learned of the opportunity for an audition last spring, and after a “surreal” audition experience, they ended up travelling to Toronto to be on the show. Atterbury can’t talk about how the pitch went, but he is encouraging people to tune in and watch the show on Thursday.

“It’s nervewracking, showing a product…and being at the whim of their opinion,” Atterbury laughed.

Although Atterbury has moved away from Port Alberni and made his home in Invermere, he still remains connected to his hometown. His close friend, Ryan Hall, lives in Port Alberni and coaches girls’ rugby at ADSS.

“There are lots of people that he knew in the community that would probably like to have a look at what he’s done and celebrate,” said Hall.

Hall will be holding a private viewing and tasting event with some friends and family to coincide with the Dragons’ Den episode. Half of the proceeds will be going to girls’ rugby in Port Alberni, while the other half will go to the family of an Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) teacher whose granddaughter is battling cancer.

“[Atterbury] does give back to the community, even though he’s not living here anymore,” said Hall.

If you are looking to pick up a sample product in Port Alberni, Taynton Bay Spirits are available at the Liquor Depot on Johnston Road and at Barclay Beer and Wine. You can also purchase them online at tayntonbayspirits.com.

Dragons’ Den airs on Thursday, Nov. 14 on CBC at 6 p.m.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

EJ Dunn principal Darrin Olson, left, and Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Councils Richard Samuel, right, present Trey Kyte, second from left, with his Grades 2-3 Spring Festival 2021 winning poster. With them are Kytes fellow banner painters Liam Horbatch, Sybil Purwins and Macen Avery. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
SD70’s biennial First Nations spring festival goes virtual for 2021

Alberni Valley schools showcase Indigenous learnings from past year

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

CELEBRATING IN STYLE
Members of the 2021 Alberni District Secondary School graduating class pose for a photo at McLean Mill National Historic Site on June 12. Graduates held their prom on Saturday, although things looked a little different due to COVID-19. See more on page A10. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni 2021 grads celebrate prom with car cruise

Special event held at McLean Mill National Historic Site

The Port Alberni Bombers are one of the newest teams in the VIJHL. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni Bombers to host first ID camp for roster spots

Roster spots for the Junior B team will be filled at the conclusion of the camp

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

A still image from security camera video recorded June 8 shows an individual lighting trash on fire in the doorway of 19+ Cannabis Store on Victoria Crescent. RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are investigating numerous fires set in downtown Nanaimo in the past three months. (Photo submitted)
‘It’s out of control’: More than 20 fires set in downtown Nanaimo in past 3 months

Authorities asking business owners to keep dumpsters locked

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read