Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nicole Keffer, co-owner of Berlin Natural Bakery, located in Berlin, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are an ancient grain Spelt bakery nestled in the heart of Amish Country! We bake 11 varieties of sliced Spelt bread in small batches the old-fashioned way, and we do this to avoid controversial food additives and preservatives like mass-producing wheat bakeries. Our customers tend to have digestive issues, food allergies, or sensitivities and range from toddlers to 90-year-olds! We also bake for incredibly strict Vegans and other cultures committed to food purity.
Tell us about yourself
My twin brother and I are the 3rd generation of Berlin Natural Bakery. Our grandpa acquired the bakery, my mom waged war and defended it, and now it's our turn! Having a front-row seat to all my mom fought for and against in the food industry - my brother and I are committed to honoring her and keeping her dream alive!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am proud to have played a pivotal role in transitioning us from a Non-GMO certified grain to a Non-GMO AND USDA Certified Organic Spelt grain! A hugely important issue for our customers, and it was an honor to be able to provide that for them. I recently revamped our bread bags - keeping to Mom's foundation but adding a little umph! And then my Memorial Day tribute had a paragraph at the end that the Mayor of Cleveland used in his parade speech!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Making decisions today while also keeping an eye on the future - balancing being bold and being cautious.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Be prepared to put in the hours! Be prepared to deal with a wide range of human issues and everyday needs - with staff AND customers! And make sure you grow at a rate you can accommodate to the very best of your ability.
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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