Jay Garnett is the founder and visionary behind Icon Fine Wine & Spirits. By leveraging over 25 years of recognized entrepreneurial experience in business management, brand marketing and sales strategy development, Jay has accelerated Icon's growth. Under his leadership, in 2014 Icon acquired Free House Wine + Spirits Ltd., bringing together two of Western Canada's most dynamic boutique wine and spirits import companies, positioning Icon as one of the country's top mid-sized agencies.
Young Jay’s first enterprise was selling eggs off the family farm in Alberta; but that was just the beginning. Jay held the Canadian distribution rights to Seattle’s Best Coffee (SBC) for over a decade before attracting the attention of one the world’s most respected brands, and making a deal with Starbucks in 2005. He then focused his attention on developing Steaz, the healthy beverage company, and ultimately founding Icon Fine Wine & Spirits.
Along the way, this serial entrepreneur and business strategist conceptualized and opened George, the ultra-lounge seen as the Godfather of Vancouver’s thriving cocktail culture. In 2005 he was selected as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist and was inducted into the Young Presidents’ Organization. Jay’s integrated food and beverage brand management company, Whitefish Group, was on Profit’s list of fastest growing companies in Canada for five years and he is a Business in Vancouver Forty Under 40 inductee as well.
Jay has completed entrepreneurial programs at Stanford and MIT, and has attended Young Entrepreneur Organization universities all over the world. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards and is a past President of the Vancouver Club.
From selling eggs by the roadside to specialty beverages throughout North America, Jay has never lost sight of his roots. When not at the office or traveling to the wine regions of the world, he spends time with his family on their Southlands farm where he has an extensive personal cellar keeping his favourite wines close at hand.