Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mark Goodwin, co-owner of Cellarest Beer Project, located in Asheville, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a small batch craft brewery that focuses on sustainable brewing practices. We use all locally grown and malted grain, local wild yeasts, and wood fermentation to create regionally inspired beers. We are a community-focused endeavor with the goal of giving the beer a sense of place and providing our neighbors with a safe and fun place to congregate around our product. Our customers are mainly 21-35-year-old neighbors to the brewery and tourists to our town. Asheville is a huge beer destination, so we get a pretty steady volume of tourist almost year-round.
Tell us about yourself
I have been a brewer since graduating college 12 years ago, so it's all I have known. The goal has always been to start a brewery. It just took a few years and the right team to get it off the ground. I am motivated by making the kinds of beer I want to drink and to see in the market.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Starting this up during a pandemic. We signed our lease and bought all the equipment in February of 2020, with an opening date of February 2021. So it was a rough year, but we came out on the other end. The hope is that it can only get better and easier from here. I also feel fortunate that our team stuck with the project through the unknown, and we didn't lose faith in the vision.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Not compromising our ethos as a company to follow trends, but instead aiming to create new trends in our industry. Since my background is mainly all in brewing, I had to teach myself a lot about running a company and money management. The craft is only a small percent of the business, but it is an important one.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't try to go it alone; trust your friends and family for help.
- If you think you have enough operating capital when opening, you probably don't.
- If you believe in your vision, others will too.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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