A 2016 Alumni Achievement Award nominee:
Rob Theodosiou’s long history of successful entrepreneurship, keen eye for trends, and home-grown spirit have set him apart as a local business owner. Rob is currently the President and founder of both Abe Erb Brewing Co., and Settlement Co., a coffee roaster and eatery in Waterloo Region.
Rob, who started his career as a teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board in 2000, began his entrepreneurial livelihood by founding the Ryerson Academy private school. He eventually grew the school to three locations and over 400 students before selling the business in 2006.
In January 2007, Rob broke into the food and beverage industry by establishing the first Cora’s restaurant, a popular breakfast and lunch diner, in Waterloo. He owned the restaurant for more than six years before launching Abe Erb Brewing Company and Settlement Co.
Rob’s vision for both establishments was to combine authenticity and design with community engagement. In 2014, the doors to Abe Erb Brewing Co. opened. A centrally-located brew pub in Uptown Waterloo, it pays homage to the city’s founders and features local and original art in its décor. In early 2017, Rob expanded the business, opening a second location, complete with a full production facility, in the Lang Tannery building in downtown Kitchener.
Sourcing hops from local farmers, Rob then expanded into craft beer. Retails sales launched in 2016 and the company has received the bronze level 2017 Canadian Brewing award for their 1857 Kolsch-Style Lagered Ale, as well as three Ontario Beer Awards.
Settlement Co., is a coffee roaster, eatery and social house where Rob skillfully blends history and innovation. The walls of the 1906 building on King Street North have been stripped to reveal the original rough brick, while state-of-the-art Powermats allow patrons to wirelessly charge their devices. Since starting the business, Rob has expanded into commercial and retail sales across the Region and around the globe. Their coffee production is fully sustainable, many of their products are certified organic across North America and Europe, as well as Fair Trade certified in Canada, and they produced the first Certified Organic Cold Brew Coffee to be tested and launched in North America. He has also opened a second location on King and Victoria in downtown Kitchener.
Rob sits on the Him & Her Studio Design board of Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as the Business Improvement Area (BIA) committee for Uptown Waterloo and Downtown Kitchener. He sponsors the Waterloo Cycling Club, the Downtown Kitchener Blues festival 2017, and the July open streets program. He participates in the YMCA Digital Skill Youth Internship Program and developed an event for testicular cancer in summer of 2016 which raised over 10K for the cause. In 2016 Rob returned to campus to serve as a judge for the Jack Rosen Memorial Competition for Environmental Innovation at the University of Waterloo, a Dragon’s Den-style pitch competition for environment students.