Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Calysta Webb, Founder of Berry Bay Smoothies, located in Oak Harbor, WA, USA.

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

Berry Bay Smoothies is what we call a "gourmet" smoothie shop. We sell tasty dessert-themed smoothies, but we also sell freshly squeezed juices, healthy smoothies, smoothie bowls, Lotus energy drinks, homemade lemonades, snacks, and desserts! Our customers are anyone who enjoys a treat now and then as well as the people who prefer a healthy drink/snack. You can come here for a healthy breakfast, but you can also visit for dessert!

Tell us about yourself

I've always been interested in business, and I knew I wanted to have my own as early as high school, but it started out with my photography business, Calysta Sarah Photography. I went straight off to college after high school and got my degree in fine arts and business from the Art Institute of Seattle and pursued my photo business for some years. To supplement my "starving artist" career, I worked as a barista at a few different coffees stands over the course of 9 years, giving me a love of customer service and good quality products. I managed some of these, and it was the best time. Back in 2018, my family and I relocated to Oak Harbor, WA, due to my husband's job, and I knew immediately I was going to open a business there. It is a very nice place with a small-town feel; it flourishes with small businesses, and I wanted to add to that. My mind went immediately to the "coffee stand," but after some thought, there were already incredible local stand owners, and so I went a different route: Smoothies! There were no smoothie shops on the island, and it was one thing the town was missing, so I started my journey creating Berry Bay Smoothies. Every day I am motivated by the hard work it took to establish this place and my dream of opening a location for each of my family members to own and operate themselves one day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I would say my biggest accomplishment as a business owner would be creating a successful business that has turned a profit within just 2 years and is now self-sufficient. I have a loving husband as a business partner who makes everything so much easier and is so talented. Also, we have amazing staff and management who have been more than capable of running the establishment without our presence so that we could move on to open the second location in Idaho. I am lucky to have people like that on my team.

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

The hardest thing for us so far has been the supply shortages. It's hard to explain to customers that we are simply going to be out of a product for, to them, seemingly no reason. Some take it well, and some do not.

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

  1. Have a plan; I can't say this enough. If you have a solid plan, you'll have a much easier time. For example, if you want to establish a restaurant, have a menu in place first. Build the business on paper as if it already existed, then it's smooth sailing.
  2. Save money. If you can fund it yourself, you won't be starting in debt. I also mean saving money by acquiring the skills to open the business yourself instead of hiring someone else. I used my background in business and photography, and it saved so much money. All the images you see as well as the website itself, were all taken/created by me.
  3. Be patient. Don't rush into things. You don't want to end up with a location that is sub-par, a menu that seems unfinished, or an unimpressive website, etc.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Small businesses are the backbone of America, and we need more of them! Support local, everyone!

P.S. my photography website is if you would like to check out my work!

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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