Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephen M. Cass, Owner of Cass Vineyard & Winery, located in Paso Robles, CA, USA.

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

We grow wine grapes, make them into wine, and sell the wine directly to consumers in large part thru our events, wine club, and tasting room.

Tell us about yourself

I left the financial world in my late 40s to start this, my own business. We went all in on our investment, so we are motivated to be successful financially; we have 30 full-time employees that make us shine, so we feel a responsibility to them to have success, and I personally enjoy the many marketing and development efforts that help us grow.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our business is very competitive with many large, low-cost wine producers. As a small producer, we can only grow the business by making a better product, i.e., customer satisfaction through their experiences at our tasting room food and wine and our vineyard consumer events.

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

Two things... (1) regulations that target legit issues through a shotgun approach to all business, even the innocent., and (2) dealing with employees that betray your trust.

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

  1. Figure out how to sell your product before making the product.
  2. Cash is king; banks don't lend to people who desperately need it.
  3. Grow responsibly, i.e., protect the brand.

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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