Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ryan and Katherine Harvey, Founders of Bare Bones, located in Sylvania, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Bare Bones is on a mission to reimagine soup and broth, making it a fun, healthy, and delicious source of nourishment for better meals, energy, and health.
Tell us about yourself
Ryan: When I was 18, my dad died of a heart attack. He was 39. I became obsessed with food as medicine, eventually studying cooking & nutrition to fulfill my dream of helping heal people through food. When I was working in fine dining in San Diego, I often found myself drinking stock from the stove to nourish myself through service - not only was it nutritious, but it was also crazy delicious. I set out to give consumers access to a chef-quality stock that offered them the same flavor and benefits, and the rest is history.
Kate: I was 18 when I was diagnosed with arthritis in my feet. I was a ballet dancer then, and I knew then that it meant I would never dance again, and I would be in pain every step I took for the rest of my life. At 25, I met this guy, Ryan. He gave me a book that advocated for eating real, whole foods without most modern-day foods' processing, preservatives, and artificial flavorings. I followed the diet, going from vegetarian to carnivore, and after a month, my arthritis pain dissolved.
It was then that I realized food could be a slow and silent killer – or a powerful medicine to heal and nourish our bodies. That’s why Ryan – now my husband – and I founded Bare Bones. We make bone broth, or stock, the old-fashioned way, sourcing the best organic, whole-food ingredients from sustainable sources and simmering them for 24 hours to extract real flavor and nutrients, to heal and nourish others for a life lived well. They’re high in protein, low in sodium, and taste so good you won’t believe they’re good for you.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It's hard to identify one single accomplishment, but we're very proud to say that we've built a sustainable, profitable business fairly rapidly in a very tough industry. Something like 94% of consumer packaged goods companies fail within the first two years, and here we are, eight years in, still growing and having fun doing it.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a founder, you don't get to choose NOT to do things. You have to become something of an expert in every aspect required to run a successful business, and that requires a lot of commitment and humility.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Surround yourself with advisers who are experts in different aspects of running a business, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Lean hard on them, and try to learn from their mistakes instead of making your own.
- Don't be afraid to fail. What sets great founders apart from mediocre ones is their confidence in their ability to course correct or fix any mistake they've made.
- Try to find the balance between laser focus on your objectives and being open to the opportunity you can find in trying new things.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Entrepreneurship requires an incredible amount of resilience. You will make sacrifices and take risks that nobody sees or understands, and you will make mistakes, and it can feel lonely. Keep bouncing back because every time you do, you come back better and stronger.
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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