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Business Booms at Cansource

Entrepreneur of 2019 finalist Pat Hartman has the future in the can


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Pat Hartman, co-founder and president

CanSource/Longmont

Hartman first started the company with Ron Popma as a mobile cannery for breweries in 2011 but pivoted into sleeved cans based on a market need.

At big suppliers like Ball Corp., minimum orders often exceed 200,000 pre-printed aluminum cans. That’s a lot of beer — and storage, Hartman says. “If you have six core beers, that’s 1.2 million cans. That takes up a lot of space.”

In 2012, CanSource changed its focus from mobile canning to providing small-batch shrink sleeves and catalyzed craft canning in the process. “We can run anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 per SKU,” he says. 

As breweries and consumers realize cans are “the better way,” Hartman says, in terms of preservation, transportation and sustainability, business has boomed: CanSource provided 55 million cans in 2018. That’s up from 10 million in 2015.

The company now has 60 employees and is opening its fourth facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, in summer 2019. “We’re continuing on a pretty accelerated and aggressive growth model,” Hartman says.

The market is growing into wine, canned cocktails and craft soft drinks. CanSource’s facility in Sonoma, California, is next door to a client in Free Flow Wines — which plans to can 5 million cases a year there — as the home base in Longmont encompasses a licensed distillery and winery in order to offer a turnkey service. 

“We can be A to Z,” Hartman says. “We can provide the shrink-sleeved cans, we do the blending, we do the canning.”

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Eric Peterson

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

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