Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Abdallah El Bacha, co-founder of Beytoot, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Beytoot, we specialize in crafting authentic, preservative-free Lebanese dips that are locally made in Toronto. Our dips are vegan-friendly and made using only the highest quality ingredients to ensure a delicious and healthy snacking experience.
Our customers are health-conscious individuals who are looking for a healthier, locally-produced alternative to the dips available at mass retailers. They value quality and authenticity and are passionate about supporting local businesses that share their values.
We are proud to serve the Toronto community and to be a part of the growing movement towards sustainable, locally-sourced food. By providing our customers with a delicious and healthy product that is true to its Lebanese roots, we hope to spread our love of traditional cuisine and create meaningful connections through food.
Tell us about yourself
Mo and I started Beytoot in 2021, one year after immigrating to Toronto. As a self-taught chef, I draw inspiration from my mother and grandmother, who taught me the fundamentals of Lebanese cuisine from a young age. Their love of cooking sparked my own passion for food and inspired me to share the flavours of my childhood through Beytoot.
Our mission is to bring a taste of home to the local community and introduce them to the unique and delicious flavours of Lebanon. We are motivated each day by our passion for food and our desire to create a welcoming environment where everyone can enjoy the traditional flavours we grew up with.
We believe that food has the power to bring people together and create meaningful connections, and we are proud to be able to share this experience with our customers. It is this sense of community and connection that drives us to continue doing what we love and making Beytoot a success.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of my biggest accomplishments as a business owner has been successfully growing my brand and preparing my product for retail. One of the biggest challenges we faced was maintaining shelf-life while keeping our products preservative-free. This required a lot of effort and investment behind the scenes.
As new immigrants to Canada, Mo and I had to quickly learn the Canadian retail framework and understand the preferences of our new consumers. This involved a lot of research and adapting our products and marketing strategy to fit the Canadian market.
Despite these challenges, we were able to accomplish these goals within three years of relocating to Canada. I am incredibly proud of the work we have done to build our brand and create a product that meets the needs and preferences of Canadian consumers while remaining 100% authentic. Knowing that our product is loved by our Canadian customers is the greatest reward for the hard work and dedication we have put into our business.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is the responsibility of managing multiple aspects of the business simultaneously. This includes managing finances, marketing, sales, and operations. Often, business owners must wear multiple hats and make decisions that impact the success or failure of the business.
As a business owner, you are responsible for the success of your business, which means you must make significant decisions and take action on your own. You are accountable for everything that happens within your company, from the financial health of the business to the satisfaction of your customers. This can be a daunting task, particularly if you are running a small business with limited resources and staff.
As a business owner, you will also face uncertainty and risk. The market can be unpredictable, and factors outside of your control can affect your business's success. You must be able to adapt to changes, take calculated risks, and make strategic decisions to ensure your business's longevity.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Starting, running, and growing a business can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are three tips that I would give to anyone looking to embark on this journey:
- Do your research: Before starting your business, it's important to research your industry, target market, and competitors. This will help you identify opportunities and challenges and develop a strategy to differentiate your business and succeed in the market.
- Believe in yourself: If you have an idea, you need to have confidence in yourself. You won't have all the answers now, but if you believe in your idea, trust yourself and move forward. Surround yourself with supportive people who can provide constructive feedback and help you achieve your goals.
- Embrace continuous learning: The business world is constantly evolving, so it's important to stay up-to-date with industry trends and new technologies. Attend conferences, read industry publications, and network with other entrepreneurs to learn from their experiences and stay ahead of the curve.
Remember, starting, running, and growing a business takes time and effort, but with passion, dedication, and a willingness to learn and adapt, you can achieve your goals and build a successful business.
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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