Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rhonda Kallman, Founder, and CEO of Boston Harbor Distillery, located in Boston, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Founded in 2012, Boston Harbor Distillery (BHD) opened at The Port on Boston Harbor in Dorchester in June 2015, reviving an entrepreneurial center from the mid-1800s. Boston Harbor Distillery creates proprietary craft spirits that integrate rich history, distinctive experiences, and beverage culture into each bottle it produces. Housed in a pre-Civil War era building overlooking Boston Harbor, the Distillery serves as a distilling facility and event space, tasting room, cocktail lounge, and mercantile, as well as a community gathering place for entertainment center for local music, arts, and other cultural events. Aficionados of fine whiskey and craft spirits, enthusiasts, and those interested in learning about ingredients, processes, history, and passion that goes into every bottle should visit, take a tour, have a cocktail, bring home some bottles, and/or host an event.
Tell us about yourself
In 1984, I cofounded The Boston Beer Company (NYSE: SAM), now the most successful and influential craft beer company in the US. When Jim Koch asked me to help him start a beer company, I said, "I don't drink beer; I drink whiskey." He promised he would make a beer that I would like, and of course, he did. Though after spending 25 years at the forefront of craft beer, I recognized the same type of opportunity for whiskey in Boston, just as Jim had once recognized for craft beer. I'm inspired every day by how much there is to learn and how much opportunity exists to build a legacy company with world-class brands. Frankly, it's overwhelming sometimes, though I love it!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to enjoy what we spend years making and raising a glass of whiskey with customers, friends, and family on a regular basis, especially on-site at the distillery where we are not just building brands; we are building a community centered around education and celebration.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Properly capitalizing the business and cash flow timing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find something you are passionate about, as you will be dedicating valuable time, money, and energy to it...might as well love it!
- Whatever the service or product is, it must be better, innovative, cheaper...no room for me-too products.
- Properly capitalize the business and keep in mind that it will likely take a minimum of twice as long and cost twice as much as your business plan shows.
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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