Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jeff Fleming, founder of APEX Coffee Imports, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We look to foster positive relationships between specialty coffee producers and roasters by importing and selling some of the finest specialty green coffee available.
Tell us about yourself
I have been involved in the coffee industry since I was 16 years old, and it is my first love. The passion for the product has never wavered. The experiences of drinking coffee and meeting the people who grow, roast, and brew it so well are a continual source of inspiration for me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to see something through from a vision to something tangible to be able to make an impact on the communities that we work in (both consuming and producing).
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The level of sacrifice required to succeed can be daunting, but once you fully commit to it, the payoff is worth the long hours, lack of personal time, etc. You can't look at what you're giving up but rather what you're gaining by putting everything you have into your business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Ensure you've proven the level of demand for your product or service. What void or need are you filling in the marketplace?
- Understand your strengths and lean into them while at the same time understanding your weaknesses and supplementing them with help from employees, outside professionals, etc.
- Ensure you have an exit strategy that is intentional, attainable and satisfies your long-term goals.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Entrepreneurs who are truly passionate about what they do will always succeed at a greater level than those who aren't, so do what you love, and you'll love what you do.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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