Youth Entrepreneur of the Year – 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Sonja Maloney

Owner of Jumping Bean Coffee – Gander, – Gander & St. John’s, and Ultra Clear Water & Brewing Centre (formerly)

A self-described “confirmed 34-year-old serial entrepreneur,” Sonja Maloney has been the owner of several businesses. Sonja recently sold Ultra Clear Water and Brewing Centre, having grown it into a success over the past six years. She is currently the owner and operator of the Jumping Bean franchise in Gander and has recently purchased three franchises, one in Gander, and two in St. John’s.

Sonja grew up on Fogo Island, where her parents ran a fishing enterprise. She had a front-row seat for the ups and the downs of business and learned many valuable lessons. As her father would say, “Sonja when things are tough, you get tougher.” And she did.

Sonja cites her father as a source of inspiration. When she moved back to Newfoundland in 2003, she couldn’t find a job she loved. She was looking for more; she wanted to choose her own path. Her dad always told her, “Sonja, if you can’t find a job, you create a job.” So she created about ten.

“Choose something you love, be fully committed, make sure you invest your time and your money back into the business so you can continue to grow. And have fun with it!”


Sonja loves many aspects of being a business owner: being able to surround yourself with a great team, watching them grow, sharing success with them, choosing your own path, and building relationships with customers. She enjoys being her own boss—but, she says, “My boss is pretty tough!”

For Sonja, keys to success include being hands-on, having a plan for growth, and having good people around her. She’s learned you can’t do everything on your own. She believes in having products and services that you stand behind, that you believe in 100 percent.

As Sonja moves forward with her existing businesses, her plan is continued growth. Having purchased the franchise for Gander about a year ago, she acquired more recently the two franchises in St. John’s. is a flat-fee real estate business that does not charge commissions. She’s excited about expanding her territory and reaching new markets.

Winning the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award means a lot to Sonja. She’s proud that her hard work has paid off. She credits NLOWE with showing her how many powerful, successful women are doing great things in the province. To be acknowledged as standing out in that group of women, she says, is extraordinary.

The Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes a young entrepreneur who is 35 years of age or younger who has owned and operated a profitable business for at least two years.

The 2016 Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award was sponsored by College of the North Atlantic.

For more about Sonja Maloney, check out her 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner video.


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