Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carol Blanchet, Founder and Owner of Talking Crow Coffee Roasters, located in Sultan, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Talking Crow Coffee Roasters, we roast specialty decaf (and a little regular too) for coffee lovers who can't have caffeine (new moms, people with health issues, and those who suffer from anxiety.) Our motto is Coffee is for everyone - caffeine isn't.
Tell us about yourself
Initially, my husband and I started Talking Crow Coffee Roasters as something we could do together when he retired from his corporate job. We took classes from Specialty Coffee Association and learned a TON about coffee and the industry. During this time, I suffered from adrenal fatigue and had to give up caffeine. I was devastated. I, of course, switched to decaf but was so disappointed with the flavor, the chemical processes, and the lack of choices available to me. That's when I had the lightbulb moment of switching our focus to crafting excellent decaf and serving this sector of the coffee community, which I knew was feeling the same way. Whatever their reason for giving up caffeine, coupled with not finding any suitable substitutes for the coffee they love, naturally makes them feel isolated and left out. I want them to feel included in this coffee space and to be able to enjoy coffee again.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There are so many facets to owning a business. It's just the two of us, so we wear all the hats from roasting, packaging, shipping, social media, inventory, sourcing coffee, etc., and each of those areas has so many layers to it too. I have had to learn a lot of things and push myself out of my comfort zone. Sometimes certain aspects are daunting and seem like just a huge mountain to climb, but my biggest accomplishment has been the slow, steady, consistent effort that yields results. Kind of like the age-old question, "How do you eat an elephant? - One bite at a time". It's the satisfaction that comes from knowing I can do hard things.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me about being a business owner is setting boundaries and limits. I am a wife and a mother of eight (three still home), and I homeschool. Family is VERY important to me. It's a challenge to strike that balance with what is required of me as a business owner and the wife and mother I want to be.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Decide who your target market is. Really hone in on this! Who do you serve, and what problem do you solve for them? This will guide all your decisions.
- Outsource what you can. For example, hire an accountant, product photographer, and social media manager. Hire out as many things as you can afford to delegate so that you have time to do the things YOU are best at so that you don't get bogged down, leading to burnout.)
- Networking is so helpful. Not only does it build a support network for yourself, but it is invaluable for resources.
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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