Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Derek Busch, Co-Founder of Batch Mead, located in Temecula, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Batch Mead, we craft small batch mead (alcohol made from honey) and hard ciders. We love locally sourced single-varietal honey, apples, and other ingredients. We believe mead is an experience, and whether you order online or visit our tasting room, we hope you enjoy the journey of mead. Our customers are amazing, typically not fans of wine or beer; they find mead to be exciting and minimal on the "alcohol" taste. They also tend to be excited about the minimal ingredients (just honey, water, and yeast, sometimes fruit added). We never add artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners (only honey), colorings, or additives.
Tell us about yourself
It all started with a (failed) wine kit! My wife bought me a Riesling wine kit for Christmas, but it had the wrong grapes (Chardonnay grapes) it ended up tasting young and bitter. I started exploring other types of alcohol when I heard mead mentioned on "Vikings." The local Binny's only had one type of mead, but after that, I couldn't stop making batch after batch of mead. Hence our name, Batch Mead.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to live my dream everyday. I'm constantly surprised and humbled at the customer's love and appreciation for our meads and hard ciders. It means so much that our customers can see our love and passion for mead.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being adaptive, things can change quickly, and at the beginning, it's all on you and a partner if you're lucky. We opened our business a couple of months before COVID hit, and we had to pivot within a week to having an e-commerce business and providing local delivery ourselves. It was stressful, but we ended up driving almost 40,000 miles in 6 months doing deliveries.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Spend time learning about marketing; I think that's the most overlooked aspect of this business. A lot of potential business owners focus on the product and the quality of the product, but it's more than a great product; it's reaching the right person. Presentation matters. The experience of your product matters almost more than the product itself.
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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