Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sabine Schoenknecht, Co-Owner of Atlantic Mustard Mill, located in Murray Harbour North, PE, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We manufacture award-winning, German-style gourmet mustard in small batches using fresh & local ingredients. If we can, we prefer organic over commercially grown ingredients. Our products are 100% solar-powered, and we try to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Our mustards are made without any filler or preservatives, and they are all fermented. That means they don't go bad, and they are very healthy and most delicious. With over 50 different kinds of flavours, we are the leaders of the mustard maker in Canada. Our customers are food lovers of all ages. Hobby chefs, professional chefs, mothers, BBQ lovers, and sandwich artists.
Tell us about yourself
I, Sabine, have worked my whole life in the hospitality industry all over the world, and food was always part of my life. When I moved to Canada with my husband, we planned to have a homestead. Reached that goal, we canned and prepared all kinds of food - including mustard because we could not find a decent mustard. Hating my job as a cashier, I decided to sell our products at a local farmers' market. The mustard hit the nerve, and we soon created Atlantic Mustard Mill. We LOVE mustard - we live for mustard, and it is a pleasure to make mustard every day. To create new flavours, use them in different recipes, and see the faces of our customers when they try our mustard - priceless!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment was winning our first medal at the World Mustard Competition in 2021. It was "only" a bronze medal, but we couldn't be prouder. Till we won a silver medal at the same competition a year later. Someone should have recorded my dance.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is to stop working and take a break. There is always the feeling that you have to do this and that, and the work never stops. What can take a toll on your body. Implementing some "me-time" is important, and I am trying to turn that into a habit.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take your time and think everything through. Don't rush things - be mindful.
- Ask other business owners if there are grants and financial help - they might know where to send you. Look for free workshops on how to run a business.
- Never take anyone into your business. Do it alone or with your partner/husband/wife. Most of the time, it doesn't work out, and you don't have a business anymore.
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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