Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Danny Ranville, co-founder of Biere de Mac Brew Works, located in Mackinaw City, MI, USA.

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

Biere de Mac Brew Works is Mackinaw City's only Microbrewery producing artisan craft beer and specializing in traditional French/Belgian Farmhouse ales. We service tourists, travelers, beer enthusiasts, and locals alike in the #1 tourist destination in the Midwest, The Straits of Mackinac.

Tell us about yourself

The Ranville family has deep roots in the Straits of Mackinac as our ancestors came to America on a French warship in the 1600s to Mackinac Island to protect their fur trading businesses. Fast forward to the summer of 2006, 07 & 08, where I put myself through college working on Mackinac Island. It was then that I truly fell in love with Northern Michigan and spent the better part of a decade trying to find a way to make a living while living in one of the most beautiful places in the country. In 2017 my father and I founded and opened our doors to the public in Mackinaw City.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

In 2020, Biere de Mac Brew Works was awarded the "MLive 2020 Beer of the Year" in the entire state of Michigan with our Fleur de Mac - Blonde Biere de Garde.

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

There are many things that make running a business difficult, but the one that sticks out in my mind is putting together a team of people to run a business and then be successful enough to support them so they, in turn, can support their families. During the summer months, we have employed up to 35 people.

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

  1. Make sure your business plan and marketing plan are solid. It is the footing on which your business will stand.
  2. If you are in it for the money, get a different job. You will be grinding, hustling, working long hours, doing all the jobs, and the grunt work for sweat equity for the first five years. There is no such thing as an overnight success. You only get out of your business what you put in it, and your business will take every waking moment that you will give it. You have to make time for your family and your life too.
  3. Make sure that you start a business that you are passionate about. If you don't love what you're doing, your business has no long-term chance of survival. It is important that you do something that you enjoy and surround yourself with employees who share your drive and determination and, most importantly, subscribe to your business goals.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I have a degree from Northwood University, where I triple majored in Advertising, Marketing & Management with a double minor in Entrepreneurship & Language Arts. I also studied International Marketing & International Business abroad in Wolfsburg, Germany.

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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