Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maria Bettencourt, founder of Basalto, located in Crystal Beach, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a specialty artisan cheese and meat shop located in a beach community. Many of my clients own vacation homes in the area as well American visitors. We offer custom charcuterie grazing boxes, cones, platters for all celebrations or just spending a day at the beach. My customers believe in supporting local businesses that offer locally-made products in the Niagara Region.
Tell us about yourself
I moved to Crystal Beach with the intention of retiring from my career in financial services. My background is Portuguese, and cheese is a staple food that can be eaten at any meal. Joining various community organizations, I realized that there was a demand for a boutique cheese shop. Despite the limitations due to COVID, I have been able to meet great people and develop relationships with customers from all over Ontario and United States. This has been a highlight of being a business owner.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been being known for quality products and customer service. When customers drive from neighboring towns to buy your products, it's good to know your brand is becoming known as a quality brand.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being self-employed is a 24/7 job. It requires a lot of time and effort, long hours, and having dealt with the unknown of COVID impacted customer traffic and flow.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your homework -what is your niche market.
- Prepare a viable business plan.
- Recognize and embrace social media as a primary marketing strategy.
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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