Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bob Lamson, Founder of Attivo Culinary, LLC., located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
For both professionals and home cooks, we distribute specialty kitchen equipment and tools, such as sous vide, and distinctive foods and ingredients with a natural, small-batch, family-run emphasis.
Tell us about yourself
I became interested in healthful cooking and foods in 1990, co-founding Trillium Health Products, creators of the "Juiceman" juice extractor and the "Breadman" breadmaker and associated healthful bread flowers. I have ever since been interested in this important aspect of life.
After related small appliance emphasis at Salton, Inc. for several years, followed by some interesting business development consulting, I eventually co-founded SousVide Supreme in 2008. Interestingly, this was the earliest sous vide water bath specifically designed for home use and was motivated by the best nutritional value in cooking vegetables, even though sous vide is usually considered for meats.
My current business is a family one devoted to healthful ingredients and cooking techniques. At my stage in life, 80 years old, I am motivated by helping those of younger generations be successful in various aspects of the healthful food-life business.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been in partnership with my friends and colleagues Rick and Steve Cesari, fueling the national phenomenon of healthy juicing and juices.
In 1990, when we introduced the Juiceman, there were few, if any, juice bars and virtually no packaged natural healthy juices. This is now a multi-billion dollar economic sector.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I believe 9 out of 10 small business fail. Most of them do because they do not have a sufficient financial control process and timely financial data to know "where" they are. So, as the Mad Hatter in the story Alice in Wonderland, said, "If you don't know where you are going, then any path will take you there." Accurate and timely financial information is the most important thing for a small business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take the time to truly understand who are your customers, what products they need and will purchase, what they will be willing to pay and how best to get the products to them.
- Make sure before you start that you have created a realistic 3 - 5 year financial forecast and that start-up budget sufficiency is assured.
- Make sure that the customers come back and your products don't!
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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