Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food & beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jason Harvey, Founder of Common Coffee, Ltd., located in Midlothian, Pathhead, UK.

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

We are a wholesale coffee roastery based in Scotland. We sell to local cafes and restaurants and partner with an independent wholesaler, Stores Supply.

Tell us about yourself

Originally from NZ, I traveled to the UK about nine years ago, looking for an adventure. I didn't plan to start a business or stay here, but I always had aspirations to have my own business. Through a series of events and following my nose, I ended up running a coffee roastery in Scotland. It's been a crazy journey thus far, but I'm excited to see what the future holds.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Looking back on a previous business plan, and realize we had achieved most of the goals during the pandemic. It's easy to forget to celebrate the wins as they occur, but you must do so.

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

Deciding to downsize and having to do redundancies. It's a challenging aspect of a small business when the team is close. However, I found it a significant period to go through and learned much from experience. Be honest and upfront.

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

  1. Start slowly. It's not a race. Take your time, be patient, and develop your offering and network. Growth will come.
  2. Have a written agreement with whoever you choose to partner with, start-ups can be challenging, take longer than anticipated, and people's life situations change. It's best to have some of these discussions upfront and get them written down.
  3. Look after yourself, stay positive, and know that tough times will pass. Most of the above advice I received personally, but sometimes incarnate into my journey less than I should have.

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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