The Magnate-in-Waiting: Julius Makarewicz

Founder & CEO, Nude Beverages

Is it possible that Nude, that spirit juggernaut that's seemingly everywhere in Western Canada, only launched in 2017? Luckily, founder Makarewicz is nothing if not persistent. The Powell River native, whose parents left Poland when it was under martial law, dropped out of university because he felt he had to get out in the world to learn. Makarewicz, who originally came to Vancouver to attend SFU, badgered the HR department at customer research firm Vision Critical Communications Inc. until they gave him a job in sales. But in 2015 he started working on a low-calorie, sugar-free, gluten-free vodka cooler. Launching Nude Vodka Soda in 2017, Makarewicz has created something of an empire in Nude Beverages, which has added low-cal versions of gin, tequila and iced tea mixed drinks to its portfolio. The company has now sold more than 60 million cans worth over $70 million across Canada and the U.S.€”and employs some 30 people.