Watch: Beverage by Reuben Canada '99 Makes a Splash
Reuben Canada '99, an intellectual property attorney in Philadelphia, is finding success in a perhaps unlikely venue. In addition to his patent procurement and litigation work, he is growing a business based on his spicy green tea beverage, Jin-Ja.
Canada is the winner of the Specialty Food Associations 2013 My Story, My Ad contest. The prize provides him a full-page advertisement in top food-specialty trade magazines and other forms of social outreach to promote his all-natural, ginger-based beverage, Jin+Ja. Canada, a former patent attorney, began by experimenting in his kitchen to formulate a beverage that was "healthy, delicious, and exciting." He cashed out his 401(k) to found Canada Enterprises LLC and has not looked back. Jin+Ja won the 2013 sofi (specialty outstanding food innovation) Award for Outstanding Cold Beverage. Canada's Philadelphia-based venture is catching on quickly in local food markets, which struggle to keep the popular beverage in stock.
Canada first conceived of the idea for Jin-Ja as he searched for a new mixer to go with cocktails. But the beverage, a mixture of cayenne pepper and ginger, along with a blend of green teas and lemon juice, is now a hit on its own. What began as an informal business venture with word of mouth-driven sales can now be found in several restaurants in one of the city's main cultural and business districts.
Canada, who graduated from Swarthmore with a B.S. in electrical engineering, considers the rigor of the College's engineering program to have been "invaluable," adding "it was a great education and continues to serve me well." He encourages any Swattie thinking about entering into business to put "as much energy into your product as possible."