Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Danae and Kristina Petrakis, Founder of Boukia, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We're baking sisters! Or rather, sisters who bake (because we're actually related). Hailing from Thessaloniki, Greece, we decided to bring some of our native flavors to our adopted hometown of San Francisco, and being a small family business, we got licensed to run a Cottage Food Operation (CFO) out of our home kitchen.
Our customers started from some marvelous ladies on our master's swimming team whom we call our Locker Room Gals! Word of mouth has led to a wide variety of customers, from those already acquainted with Greek cuisine and looking for our unique taste to people who are constantly searching for new and unfamiliar flavors.
Tell us about yourself
We've always enjoyed being in the kitchen, even as children. The initial attempt at our own sweets came on the first summer we couldn't go back home; we pulled out our mom's recipe book and got cracking to bring our favorite Greek flavors here!
It may seem odd, but our customers are a big motivational force behind our baking. We've been very lucky to have loyal and incredibly supportive customers. We love finding out each person's favorites, learning their preferences, and then bringing them new recipes we hope they'll enjoy. It's an honor to share flavors, ingredients, and aromas that have filled our home since we were young.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Oof! We'd say every step we take is our biggest accomplishment! But, if it has to come down to one thing… we'd say keeping the spirit of our business one that focuses on the personal relationships built versus the financial end of things.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Taxes, anyone? Haha…but actually, yeah, really. Neither of us is super thrilled about dealing with the administrative aspect (renewing licenses, registrations, etc.). Being a business owner has two faces; while it is very rewarding, it also comes with all of the responsibility! Whether you sink or swim depends only on you and can be a formidable task.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Love whatever it is you're doing. It's an obvious one, but there's going to be a lot of time taken up by paperwork, orders, etc., so we'd say it's imperative that a portion of your business draws you back into what you're truly passionate about.
- Smaller is better, at least in the beginning. Staying small allows room for error and improvement without losing tons of money or customers. We rely heavily on word of mouth for our business, but a person who uses social media to promote themselves might easily become overwhelmed.
- Stay true to the dream about the business you are trying to grow. Compromising your vision detracts from your creation and will ultimately be felt not only by your customers but by yourself as well. The business is ultimately a reflection of who you are and what you wish your contribution to be to the community – don't compromise on it for anything.
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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