Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Greg Holt, Owner of Big Sky Cafe, Inc., located in San Luis Obispo, CA, USA.

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

We are the downtown cafe in San Luis Obispo. We have been serving "Farm to Table" meals since 1994. We feature local Farmers, Bakers, Artisan Gelato makers, Cal Poly eggs, local Beer, and wines. We serve the San Luis Obispo locals and tourists as well as folk the want "Real Food by Real People."

Tell us about yourself

In 1975, I needed gas money to go surfing and got a job as a dishwasher. Found out that I love the physical work of the industry along with the fact that it is so people-oriented. I kept working in food service while going to school and realized that this was my calling. I received my education at Santa Barbara City College in Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary management. I love seeing happily-fed guests and seeing folks go from "hangry" to happy in a matter of 45 minutes.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment to date was being able to keep our doors open through the pandemic. The past awards and accolades pale in comparison. Keeping 35 households employed, and fed, is my crowning professional accomplishment.

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

The hardest part of owning the restaurant is, without a doubt, having to make the decision as to when it is time to let people go. I hire folks with the idea that they are going to be great long-time employees.

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

  1. Before you start, make sure that you love the work of your industry.
  2. Learn your industry BEFORE you start your own. Everybody has already made 99% of the mistakes that can kill your business. Let others' mistakes keep you from making your own.
  3. Be ready for your business to take over your life.

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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