Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lucinda Wright, co-founder and CEO of Apres Beverages, located in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are in the business of helping people chill out at the end of a busy day. If you love coffee and cocktails/spirits, you will love our boozy k-pod hot cocktails. They are decaf, so no worries about afternoon or evening sipping.

Tell us about yourself

I turned 59 years old last summer and have worked my entire career in a number of fabulous Michigan companies (Kellogg's, Whirlpool, Meijer, JPG Resources). It surprises even me that near the end of my professional life, I find myself the CEO and Co-Founder of a startup spirits company that brings disruptive innovation into a highly regulated/old-school category. Less than 5% of the spirits companies are owned and operated by women, so I feel the responsibility not only of running a successful company but also doing my best to build a better future for younger generations of women.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Not only surviving our first three years as a startup but growing our business despite the broader marketplace turmoil and the unique challenges associated with a highly regulated category.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The loneliness and isolation is the hardest part of being a startup CEO/Founder. This is especially true for female leaders because we are not allowed to express concern/discouragement or seek outside business advice because it is broadly seen as a weakness. Additionally, women-owned businesses receive a tiny fraction of the funding awarded by traditional investors (VCs, PEs, etc.), so raising the money needed to fuel growth is highly challenging.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find at least one other Co-Founder (I would not have been able to make it this far by myself)
  2. If you can't fund the business and have to raise money - set the business up as a Delaware C Corp from the get-go (We made a huge mistake starting as an LLC)
  3. The most critical 1st hire is a 'rock star' senior sales leader.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you have not built a robust personal and professional network - get busy!!! You are going to need help from a broad community of people who believe in you first and foremost and, therefore, in your business by extension.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.