Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Aaron Moore, Co-Founder of Gratsi, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are an e-commerce focussed wine company that sells directly to our customers in 44 states, selling 24/7 through our online store.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a father and husband. We are a nomadic family that spends most of our time living between Central America and Europe. I've been in the beverage business for about 15 years, and wine has been a focus of mine for most of that time. Wine is more than a business for me. It's a part of life. It's always intrigued me, and making wine is like nothing else in life. I met my business partner in 2020, and we wanted to bring something new to wine, something that we saw was missing. Well, a few things, really. We wanted to make wines that we would drink on a daily basis and feel good about. We were turned off by the murky marketing and high-sugar amounts in wine and wanted to make wines that are premium, high-quality wines containing zero sugar additives using 100% natural ingredients. And we wanted to put them in 3L boxes, so the wine is never wasted and stays fresh. The 3L format has a much lower carbon footprint when compared to bottles, which is important to me as a consumer.
We sold our first box through our new store in January 2021 and now have thousands of subscribers ranging in all 44 states that allow direct shipping for wine. We have proved the concept and the demand for premium wines in a box.
I'm motivated by hard work, uncertainties, challenges, and fixing problems. There is plenty of this daily to keep me going day after day. Startups aren't for the faint of heart. I find stability in unstable things, so this works well for me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Surviving as a business is number one. Following that would be our success and continuous growth, growing our team and creating jobs for people, making waves in an industry that doesn't want things to change, and taking risks in doing something new and different (and a little scary) that pays off.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Life-balance. I'm pretty much always on, which is part of being an owner, but recognizing the need to just shut the laptop and take a half day with my family is important.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Identify a need in the industry you are entering, find smart and level-headed people to do work with, and thicken your skin. And don't be afraid to make mistakes. You're going to make them whether you want to or not. Learn from them, embrace them.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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