Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Iain Bruce, Co-Founder of Brew Crew, located in Thatcham, Berkshire, UK.

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

We are a social enterprise coffee roaster. We sell retail to coffee drinkers at home and wholesale to offices and cafes.

Tell us about yourself

Ben and I were spurred on to do something entrepreneurial after being involved in a student ran social enterprise at the University of Sheffield called Enactus. Being keen coffee drinkers and closed cafes, we started taking more interest in drinking coffee at home. With this, we learned more about the difficulties coffee producers faced and knew we wanted to do something to try and help drive positive change within the industry. We are motivated by being the force for change ourselves, as well as producing delicious coffee!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think you feel the small achievements so much more than you do in a conventual job as an employee. After creating something from nothing, with all the hours of thought that went into the concept, to bring it into a tangible product is very rewarding. Every new coffee we bring out is more exciting for me now. Creating the new label for the box and honing in on the final recipe is more and more rewarding to put our name on it.

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

Probably having to be very persistent when things go wrong, which they do more often than you would like. Finding the motivation to find a way to overcome the problems when things don't go as you planned is probably the key to keeping the business moving, as well as being one of the hardest!

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

  1. Talk to as many people within the industry as you can. We have learned so much from others. The most valuable advice can often be accessible when you approach people in a personable way, and a conversation doesn't have to cost anything.
  2. Believe in your idea and use that as your motivation when things go wrong. Taking losses too personally can be your downfall. Learn from the times when things don't go as planned and adapt.
  3. Analyze your finances, and make sure your pricing is not only competitive but also sustainable. When you break down the margins on what you sell, there is more than the material costs. I think that is easy to overlook.

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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