A unique process
Three years after graduating, Commerce alumnus Devon Strang launched his new business, Blue Roof Distillers. The first bottles of vodka are on the shelves at New Brunswick liquor stores — from an enterprise that started as an independent study at Mount Allison. Growing up on a farm, Strang has always loved farming. Strang’s Produce, with its distinctive blue roofs, is located in Malden, NB, not far from Sackville. Strang's family has been growing potatoes there for six generations, starting in 1855. Strang however wanted to do something a little different. He came up with the idea of taking the small potatoes, which are under the size requirement for Loblaws, and turning them into vodka. The young entrepreneur developed a business plan in an independent study course at Mount Allison with weekly meetings to consult with his Commerce professor, Dr. Nauman Farooqi. From farm to bottle, it is a one-in-the-world process.
About the student experience:
“During my independent study, I had my professor’s guidance. I would come to him with ideas and he would pick my brain, and say, ‘Well did you think about this?’ or ‘It is a good idea to do that.’ He would let me do my own thing, but I used his guidance along the way. I have e-mailed him since I graduated to get advice about certain things with the business and he has been very good.”