November 22, 2006

Congratulations Lilia!

Here's a great article in today's Telegraph Journal about Lilia Fraser at the Pump House. I guess we now know who the real brains of the operation is - eh Shaun?

Magazine names GM of Moncton's Pump House Brewery one of Canada's top 100 female entrepreneurs

Nina Chiarelli
Times & Transcript
As published on page B1 on November 22, 2006

MONCTON - Lilia Fraser, one half of the husband and wife team behind the Pump House Brewery, has been named one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs in Canada.

In its November issue, Profit Magazine released its annual Profit W100, a list of Canada's top women entrepreneurs.

"I think that's kind of cool and I was quite surprised," said Fraser, who was ranked 94th.

As general manager of the Pump House, which has annual revenues in excess of $3 million, Fraser oversees a staff of 50 full-time and 20 part-time employees.

The W100 list is made up of role models for entrepreneurs who lead companies of any size, in any sector, said Profit editor Ian Portsmouth.

"Through effective management they've built profitable, sustainable businesses."

A little more than a decade ago, Fraser was living near the Ural Mountains in the Kazahk town of Perm, where she grew up.

There she met her future husband Shaun Fraser a former firefighter who dreamed of one day owning his own brewery.

"He said the dream of his life was to own a brewery. I told him he was crazy," she said.

Still, the two began a relationship and moved back to Canada to make the dream a reality.

What started in 1999 as a pub and pizza parlour where they made their own beer has turned into multi-million dollar brewery that distributes its product in four other provinces, as well as to local restaurants and bars.

Pump House beers have won numerous awards at the Canadian Brewing Awards, including the top honour last year as Canadian Brewery of the Year.

The company has also expanded to include a brewing and bottling plant near Moncton, built in 2002. A restaurant, the Barn Yard BBQ, was also added to the site.

Fraser said she believes dedication and hard work are the keys to any successful business.

"I was raised by my parents in a very disciplined environment. I think I can push hard and achieve things and if I have a goal I think I can do it," she said.

Fraser also knows that it takes passion to succeed.

"First of all we have to believe in our business, but we have to believe in good quality products and making good quality beer," she said.

"But the main thing is being happy. It's hard to go to work if you don't enjoy what you're doing," she said.

Working as a team with her husband is also a different aspect of the company's success. Fraser said she's aware that some husbands and wives don't know the uniqueness of working together, and others know all too well how hard it can be.

"I guess I believe in ideas and passion and being partners with my husband," she said.