Mr. Bill Helin & Mr. Sean Harding
Spirit Bear Coffee
Raven was sent by the creator of the universe, to redesign the earth after the first great ice age of cleansing. After Mother Earth added the foliage, Raven made all the new animals big and small. Then lastly, he made a Spirit Bear — a symbolic gift of peace and harmony to all creatures of the earth.
Inspired by this story, Spirit Bear Coffee Company was born. Today, products from this quality coffee operation can be found in over 600 locations countrywide. The company, clearly having fun with their brand, sells the likes of “Raven" espresso beans (full of life and strength), “Eagle” medium roast (soaring flavour) and “Frog-Breakfast Blend” light roast (jump start your day).
“We’re certified organic and fair trade,” says Paul Biglin, co-president alongside Sean Harding. “Ten years ago, we were told we would never survive. We fight the big guys all the time. The Tim Hortons and the Starbucks of the world. It’s tough to be an Aboriginal company in a commodity driven market. Tough to get people believing in you. But once they do, they’re fiercely loyal. Now, we have over 50 resorts countrywide on our books.”
Mr. Bill Helin Bill is a Tsimshian / Norweigan artist, wood carver, jeweler, children’s book writer / illustrator and designer. Bill has focused on the Traditional Tsimshian art of his Fathers ancestry since 1980 and has created thousands of Love Rings and Wearable Art ever since. Some of his accomplishments include designing the patch worn by astronauts on the U.S. space shuttle Columbia in 1996, Astronaut patch for Bob Thirsk his 2011 ISS 6 month mission and the carving of the “world’s largest” (192 foot tall) totem pole known as the Spirit of Lekwammen, carved for the Commonwealth Games in Victoria to symbolize unity amongst all Tribes and Nations of the world.
Mr. Sean Harding Co-President. Sean, with a Métis heritage, has a 23-year history in world commodity logistics and spent 13 years with Nabob Coffee in warehouse management. He then transitioned into horticulture controls, management, and Greenhouse Supplies. Sean then co-founded Spirit Bear Coffee Company, Canada’s first Indigenous owned and operated coffee company. Spirit Bear Coffee is now a national “super-premium” brand (meaning 100% organic & Fair Trade) serving over 375 locations across Canada to date. Sean then went on to co-found with Paul 1Nation Distribution, a national distribution company. With powerful negotiating skills, Sean’s “Strategic Partners” include the likes of Chrysler Canada. Sean’s most recent successes include negotiating with various First Nation communities encouraging commerce and trade.