Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tate Huffard, Founder of Best Day Brewing, located in Sausalito, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Best Day Brewing is a craft, non-alcoholic beer brand dedicated to making exceptional beers without booze. Our customers appreciate a great beer. Not just the taste but also the social and cultural elements of what a quality beer can do. It brings people together, marks time, and celebrates moments big and small. And when people realize they can have all the upsides and none of the downsides of alcohol, that gets people excited.
Tell us about yourself
I started Best Day because of a challenge I was facing in my life and a hunch that I wasn’t the only one. The idea first came to me when I was rounding the corner into my thirties. My friends and I would all go out for beers and would make ambitious plans to wake up and go surfing before work. Well, let’s just say after a night of beers, not many of us were showing up to the break at sunrise…As our priorities shifted to actually wanting to make dawn patrol, I began trying to cut back on drinking during the week. That led to products like kombuchas and seltzers – which are all great but not at all like drinking a beer.
The lightbulb moment came when my father-in-law was visiting from out of town. I bought him a six-pack of O’Douls, and he left 5 of them in my fridge. I remember opening the fridge and seeing the craft beer that I love next to the O’Douls and coming to the realization that I drink craft beer with 4%, 6%, and 9%, and each of those beers has its own use cases in my life. But, if I could make craft beer with no alcohol, it would solve my problem of having a beer in my life and all its benefits, and being able to wake up feeling great and doing all the things I love doing.
As long as it was just as good as the real thing. That was a clear line in the sand.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Building an exceptional team of employees who live the Best Day Brewing brand and are just as excited about its potential as I am. Nothing makes me happier than surrounding this business with amazing people.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a husband and father of 3 young boys, I think one of the hardest things is balancing time between work and home. As anyone who has started a business will attest, there are an infinite number of things to do and problems to solve. The challenge is to maintain the long view by taking care of yourself, your family, and your company. I am lucky to have a wife who can support me when Best Day needs my all but also holds me accountable for 6 am pancakes with my boys.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Surround yourself with people who are way smarter than you are. People are your biggest asset by far. The only reason why Best Day is where it is today is because of the employees, investors, and advisors who care deeply about its future.
- Take care of yourself. Maintaining the long view is absolutely critical because you are charting a course where the odds are heavily stacked against you. There are good days, bad days, and days where each hour seems like a game of emotional pinball. Coming to terms with the fact that those ups and down are both real and unavoidable will help you approach each day with eyes wide open.
- Climb your mountain early. Personally, I find that doing something physically exerting first thing in my day helps me maintain a perspective on the ensuing challenges. This might be surfing the cold waters of San Francisco or, my personal favorite - running to the top of one of the peaks in the Marin Headlands. I make time for this every day and commit to it religiously. There is something about getting that feeling of achievement from starting at the bottom, running to the top, then looking out over the view below that helps me attack the rest of my day with confidence.
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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