Mark Kuspira, originally from Saskatchewan, is the founder and proprietor of Crush Imports. Mark has always had a passion for excellence in the hospitality industry. After receiving a Bachelor of Commerce in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University, Toronto, Mark attended the much acclaimed CIA - Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California.
In 2000 Mark completed the International Sommelier Guild, gaining valuable knowledge about the complexity of wine and its industry. After working in the hospitality industry for both big hotel organizations as well as small businesses, Mark gained the insights into how different business models operate, and most importantly, how to best cater to the needs and expectations of the target audiences they serve. On February 7th, 2003, Mark founded Crush Imports in Alberta as a wine and spirits importer. Crush Imports started with only one brand and 3 wines, Schug Carneros Estate Winery, but under Mark’s leadership the company soon gained more opportunities for expansion.
By 2007 Crush Imports expanded into British Columbia. The company now has five sales people as well as a diverse portfolio of over 400 wines and spirits from around the globe. Crush was founded on the principle of finding great wines produced by small, niche family and sustainable growers, a principle that Mark always remains committed to. By seeking out the producers who put their heart into their product, the company is able to appeal to any wine lover at every price point. Crush Imports strives to maintain a dedication to exploration and variety while always keeping the end user in mind and serving their clients with the utmost integrity and honesty. Out of over 400 importers, Crush Imports was included in the Top 50 importer in volume in Alberta (including all the major wine and spirits importers).
Ann has been working in the wine industry for over 16 years, and has been with crush imports in Southern Alberta for 10 of those years. Her background started in primarily restaurants and golf clubs, then got recruited by her sales rep at the time, making the leap into the world of wine. While working for her first wine agency, she called on a prestigious hotel account, where Mark Kuspira was the buyer. In 2005, mark offered her a position with Crush Imports.
In previous years her position was always sales focused, however for the past two years, she is now more office based, being able to stay close to her young family. She currently manages all the logistics, inventory, marketing, social media, event planning, administration, and sales support for the team.
She has completed her Advanced WSET certificate with distinction, and has had the fortunate opportunity to have traveled to some of the most prestigious wine regions of the world in Europe and North America. Her favourite wine at the end of a busy day or on the golf course is rose, bubbles, or a crispy sauvignon blanc.
James became interested in wine while working in the hospitality industry in his native Ontario, shortly after graduating with a degree in philosophy from Trent University. After a “chance” move to Calgary, and a brief (and ill-advised) stint selling photocopiers, he realized that he needed to start selling something he loved: wine. Now eight years in, James still loves wine, especially the endless opportunities to learn and the people that share this passion. He’s since completed his Advanced WSET certificate and travelled to great wine regions in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the US and Canada. He'll give just about any wine a shot, but his true loves are Riesling, Rioja and Rosé, which he drinks all year.
Dave first started working in the liquor industry in 2001 while working towards a degree in French History from the University of Calgary. After completing a Master’s in History from the University of Toronto, he made the permanent move to a career in wine sales, first in retail and subsequently in the importing side. After almost a decade in Calgary at the cellar, Dave moved to Vancouver in 2012 and quickly joined crush imports. He has completed the Advanced WSET certificate and has travelled to wine regions in Nova Scotia, BC, Washington, Oregon, California, Australia, France, and Italy. He loves Chardonnay almost unconditionally, and when not working loves complaining about the Blue Jays and the Oilers and eating veggie tacos.
Jordan was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. After attending high school on Vancouver island, he returned to Edmonton where he studied in the faculty of arts at the U of A. In his early 20's he moved around between BC, Southern California, and Northern California pursuing a career in music production. While living outside San Francisco, Jordan visited Napa Valley and that is where his love of wine all began.
In 2007, Jordan moved back to Edmonton where he spent years in the restaurant industry and upgrading his wine education along the way. In the fall of 2014, he began working with crush imports in Northern Alberta. Jordan now resides in Edmonton with his wife Ksenia. Jordan is the sales manager for Edmonton and surrounding area. In addition to his French Wine Scholar programs, he just recently completed with Advanced WSET Certification.