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Meet Melinda Ponting-Moore, Co-Founder & President of Craft Coast Canning Ltd.

2021 Start-Up Award Finalist

Seeing a need for a professional packaging option on the “craft coast” — Eastern Canada — Melinda Moore co-founded Craft Coast Canning in 2017. The company supplies cans, packaging materials, graphic design, quality control, mobile canning, and laboratory services to businesses, from small craft breweries to international brands. A practicing lawyer since 2019, Melinda completed three degrees before her thirties, and started a holdings corporation which owns interests in a number of brands that promote female-entrepreneurship and environmental stewardship.

My first job ever was…Working in the family business, cleaning grease trays and chrome polishing airplanes. Sometimes running errands for the office. First external job was Blockbuster! Worked there through high school and one year of University.

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… For me it happened organically since I was raised by entrepreneurs. We had an idea that was marketable, so jumping in with both feet to actualize that goal was only a question of belief in the concept. I was in a place (just having completed my MA while still in law school) where I felt like I was up for an ambitious challenge and able to wear more than one hat, and my husband and I worked together to balance our family resources to make the energy and capital intensive startup phase work.

My proudest accomplishment is… Of course, there are some legal files that I am extremely proud of, but I cannot ethically disclose. But professionally overall, I think my proudest accomplishment was the day I was selected as a finalist for this award. Until then I had not taken time to stop and reflect on what I had been working towards for the last decade. It is so easy to have tunnel vision day-to-day. This nomination was the first time I really stepped back and thought, “hmm… I think I’ve actually built something!” I am proud of getting here, and even more proud of the team is going to keep the companies’ momentum going!

My biggest setback was… There are so many! I think there was a real low when I left University after my Bachelor’s degree. I had always wanted to practice law, but also wanted to continue learning through research, and of course, I needed to finance it all. For a time had no idea how I would pull this off, and I lacked any direction and felt completely lost. I doubted my ambitions and questioned my abilities. Looking back, I think I felt like I was cookie dough, I needed to be baked a little longer to turn out the way I needed to.

I overcame it by… Pushing forward regardless, and trying again when possible. I reinvested in myself, and IMPORTANTLY asked for help! My husband (then boyfriend at the time) shouldered a lot so I could pursue my goals. I overcame any fear of pivoting and reorganized my plans as necessary. My mantra was taught to me from my mother… never be afraid to try, but always try. It saved me.

If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… A google search does not show much about me. I have do not have many accolades to show. But I used to participate in a number of martial arts, I rescue animals on a 14-acre property in the sticks, I read books on theoretical physics for fun, I officiate weddings for charity, and I once spent three days straight awake watching all of the James Bond movies back-to-back. The point is, professionally I have a need to be hardworking in the face of challenges, and privately I spend time seeking out more challenges and tackling the ones that cannot easily be monetized. The latter is the part the internet will likely never see.

My best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is… Never be afraid to try, but always try.

The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… Stop. Breathe. And do not be afraid to ask for help.

Success to me means… Balance and the ability to actualize imagination. Success is different for everyone, but I believe if you can maintain your rationality and logic and apply your talents to the world that is success whatever dollar amount rests in your bank account.

I stay inspired by… The people around me. My mother, my husband, my step dad and brother, my in-laws, my friends, the memory of the amazing people who helped train my work ethic (my thesis supervisor Caroline Bassett, my Grandmothers Will Boer and Phyllis Moore, my Grandfather Edmond Boer, my Great Uncle Henri Boer, my dad Carey Moore), and my co-workers, employees and law clients. I constantly feel like I am being driven by their belief in my potential.

My next step is… Long term I plan on working on the balance component to my definition of success. Short and medium term, adjusting the business plans for our businesses to the new normal of our economic activities. In particular, reorienting the direction of our businesses that pivoted as they were deemed essential services during the pandemic for sustainable growth, and finding ways to reconnect with some projects that were dropped as a result during this time. In particular I have had an animal rights opportunity that had been pushed to the side during the pandemic and I would love to reinvest my efforts in to helping see that project move forward.