Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christopher Deutsch, Owner of Belleville, located in Portland, ME, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Belleville is a neighborhood retail bakery specializing in croissants and pizza. We serve the vibrant community within Portland, Maine, and the thousands of tourists that visit our beautiful city year-long.

Tell us about yourself

As a dual citizen, French and American, and the son of a US diplomat, I experienced food at a young age that eventually evolved from a hobby to a passion. As a late 20-something, I changed careers and dived headfirst into the food industry. I learned to bake in France and moved back home with my young family to Portland, Maine, to open a bakery featuring the best of those food memories I experienced as a young child. I am motivated daily to produce the very best baked goods in a team-oriented and inclusive work environment.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We've been featured in a number of national and local publications, but our biggest accomplishment is rebuilding and improving the business after the complications related to COVID-19. Despite the difficulties presented and some very low points in the business, we reorganized, renewed, and expanded the business by prioritizing staffing, training, work environment, and teamwork. We now have a well-structured management team and a sustainable business model.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing is managing time. There are so many areas to cover as a business owner, whether it's actual bakery production, accounting, staffing, hiring, maintenance, admin, etc., and I want to give appropriate time and effort to all of it. It can get overwhelming, but building the right team and delegating is the best way to manage it all.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. You must have a passion for the business. If it doesn't drive you to work on a daily basis, it'll be difficult to find the motivation and grit every morning to make it happen.
  2. Get help. Utilize the number of resources online and locally to ask questions, work on business plans, and get financial help. Small business development centers offer free consultations, and local banks offer free consultations, other small comparable businesses will offer information and help.
  3. Surround yourself with motivated people. Most businesses need a great team to succeed—start building and training your team right away.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.