Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kevin Webber, CEO of Carboy Winery, located in Littleton, CO, USA.

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

Colorado wine is an adventure, and at Carboy Winery, we embrace that adventure. Since 2016 Carboy and our award-winning wines have helped lift the Colorado wine industry into prominence as a wine region ripe with possibilities. Through ambitious winemaking and innovation with new varietal wines, sparkling wines, and wine seltzers, Carboy is turning a state known for its beer into one that creates exciting wines. As the U.S. wine industry grapples with the challenge of attracting NextGen wine drinkers, Carboy is leaning into the challenge by making wine fun – blending food, drink, and adventure. What could be more Colorado?

Tell us about yourself

I am a fourth-generation Colorado native with 25+ years of experience in the restaurant industry. This led me down a path of great knowledge and appreciation for wine, and I eventually became a sommelier in 2011. However, I’m a serial entrepreneur at heart. In 2015 I simultaneously started a health and wellness consumer packaged goods brand (bridging the outdoor recreation and natural foods industries) and Carboy Winery. It was an amazing experience working in California agriculture from afar while growing Colorado viticulture here at home.

I’ve been involved in all aspects of Carboy Winery since its inception in 2015, including brand and systems development, wine operations, front-of-house operations, and sales and market strategy. I currently serve on both the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board & Colorado Association for Viticulture & Enology Board of Directors. My passion is for building impactful brands that give back, growing industries such as the Colorado wine industry, actively promoting conservation initiatives, and fighting to protect public lands.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Simple...Retention. Carboy’s success and growth come from more than just creating a great product. Braided into our creative business model is a company culture that is hard to find today. We create opportunities for those who helped build the company and from staff/management engagement. Employee retention is a cornerstone of Carboys' culture. Staff and management are seated at the table, and we encourage idea sharing, resulting in higher than average employee retention. Carboy is an active participant in the local communities and neighborhoods as well, and we pride ourselves on that good standing.

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

Growth and Bandwidth. In the beginning, you're wearing many hats out of necessity. As you grow, you need to take some of those hats off and entrust that work to others. This can be challenging if you don't have the right people. Fortunately, we made investments in our people, so this came organically and allowed us to grow efficiently. There are only so many hours in the day.

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

  1. Begin with the end in mind. We've all heard this before, and it's true. Without clarity on who you want to be, where you want to go, and eventually end up, you can't formulate a plan, and without a plan, there can be no growth.
  2. Surround yourself with better people. You're only as strong as your weakest link. Hire people who are better than you in all the areas that matter, and make sure they buy into the vision from the beginning. This also requires that you inspire people with the vision, motivate them to do a good job, and lead by example. If you do a good job in those areas, good people find you.
  3. Get a mentor, be a good student, and be the best listener in the room. Entrepreneurs are often blinded at the beginning by their own ideas of how things should be. Humility goes a long way in starting a business. Know this; there are people who have gone down the road you are about to go on before. They have a lot of great information that they are happy to share and can often spare you stepping into potholes along the way.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Bring the joy every day! The moment you find yourself not having fun and resenting your business, it's time to get out and make a change. Life is short and time is precious. Don't waste a minute longer on something that doesn't bring you joy.

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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