Phantom Light Distillery nominated for Best New Venture ABEX Award

Phantom Light Distillery Photo Phantom Light Distillery is one five nominees for New Venture for the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Awards, to be presented on Sept. 16 in Saskatoon.

A Prince Albert area distillery is one of five nominees for a prestigious Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Award.

Phantom Light Distillery, which was founded nearly three years ago and is located off Highway 2 north of the city, is nominated for Best New Venture Award. Partner Brendan Miller said the nomination means they are exceeding their plans.

“It just means a lot to us,” Miller said. “We know we’re on the right track in achieving not only our goals, but we’ve gone from … five employees and now we have eight full-time and just about 15 part-time employees. As well, we employ testers throughout the province that work for us and show off our product at different retailers.”

The ABEX Awards, now in their 40th year, are the highest award for Saskatchewan business and celebrate the success of businesses and business leaders across the province.

ABEX Award recipients will be announced at the ABEX Awards gala on Sept. 16, 2023, at Prairieland Park (Hall A) in Saskatoon.

The New Venture Award, sponsored by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Trade and Export Development, is presented to a business that has been in existence for three years or less and has shown positive performance in terms of current or expected profitability, job creation and/or entry into new markets.

Miller was one of five founding partners in the company. Phantom Light Distillery has found numerous sponsoring partnerships since they came on the scene.

“It’s actually pretty exciting,” Miller said. “Part of our mandate is that we like to support the communities that we are working and living and playing in.”

They are the official vodka of the SJHL and sponsor everything from KCRA Rodeos, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Athletics program to Ronald McDonald House and the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert.

“By giving back to those communities, we’re able to build relationships in all of those communities and it really helps us support Saskatchewan at the same time as supporting ourselves,” Miller said.

The company is very pubic and appears at events all around the province including being a sponsor of the Prince Albert Winter Festival Beeard Derby and Kinsmen Club Fest-of-Ale.

“We have been at the beer wars in Saskatoon and we sponsor the Waskesiu Music Festival, we were at the Rock the Ville Music Festival in Albertville and sponsored the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards this year. We are trying to be all over the place, and it’s so cool. One of the best parts of this job is meeting these awesome people from every walk of life in every part of the province.”

Cultivating relationships is important to the business as they continue to grow.

“We’ve been able to build incredible relationships with the Saskatchewan people that we never had before,”

The New Venture Award Finalists are Phantom Light Distillery, Megadry Disaster Restoration (Weyburn), REV Auto Group Inc. (Regina), The Prairie Grazer (Saskatoon) and Vetted HVAC Services Ltd. (Yorkton).

“We’re super proud to be to be nominated for this award because we’re with a very elite group of businesses and business people. We’re so proud to be recognized for what we’re trying to do here,” Miller said.

The ABEX Awards showcase the immense talent and entrepreneurial spirit of Saskatchewan’s business community,” Prabha Ramaswamy, CEO, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release. “These finalists have demonstrated remarkable achievements, resilience, and a commitment to excellence. They are the driving force behind our province’s economic growth, and we look forward to celebrating their contributions.”