Published: Monday, May 14, 2018
Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO awards still celebrate regional leaders who are dedicated to growing their organizations, advancing their industries and giving back to their communities.
2018 Top 50 CEO Award Winners
PRESIDENT & CEO, DEVONIAN COAST WINERIES LTD. (Malgash, N.S.)
To Carl, business is like a sport. Winning is important but having fun while doing it makes it worthwhile. If the fun leaves, so does he.
POP THE CORK After working as a geologist for five years—and realizing it wasn’t the right career for him—Carl Sparkes headed back to school for his MBA. The move introduced him to marketing, which in turn opened doors to the food and beverage industry. There, he became popular as a “turnaround” specialist. As president of Olivieri Foods, he quadrupled growth in as many years. That was followed by similar results for Canada Bread, Eastern Bakeries, Omstead Foods and Bento Nouveau. By 2011, he was more than ready to pour his energies into a business of his own, so he created Devonian Coast to acquire Jost and two other Nova Scotia wineries.
THE PERFECT POUR The new vintner proceeded to do what he does best: pulling together a talented leadership team, rebranding the business and improving their product portfolio. The predictable results: brisk sales, multiple awards. They even have a 10,000 sq. ft. retail store in Shanghai, China.
SAVOUR THE BOUQUET Innovation is a state of mind for Devonian Coast Wineries. They make wine, yes, but they also create social experiences says Sparkes, whose work and life is inspired by his wife’s joie de vivre. “Our products are ubiquitous companions at any social gathering. We are industry leaders because we think from our guest’s experience back to the vineyard, not the other way around.”