Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ben Shillow, owner and director of Shillow Beer Co., located in Ottawa, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We produce inspired and quality-driven kosher craft beers for various markets. Our customers are a diverse group of individuals who appreciate the camaraderie of our shared passions and the hospitality inherent in our inclusive atmosphere.
Tell us about yourself
To explain about myself can never tell the whole story. Shillow Beer was built by both myself and Jamie Shillow. Between the two of us, we share a cumulative experience of almost 40 years in the hospitality and f&b worlds. I had gone down the wine path as a Sommelier but had worked in every position (both leadership and otherwise) in restaurants. Jamie focused her attention on the world of beer and cheese. Eventually, I took steps to expand my tool kit by seeking out broader experience in logistics, sales, supply chain, and brand development. Jamie went back to school to become a Brewmaster. What compels us every day is the drive to refine both the creative process and technical wheelhouse required to implement our vision. We keep these ambitions grounded by our need to learn, to care for our customers and guests, and to always welcome absolutely ANYONE with warmth and sincerity.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Frankly, every week surpasses the previous one. Right now, we are so proud of opening our doors during this pandemic, after almost 10 years of struggling to reach this critical point. Our biggest accomplishment was insisting on "giving it one more try."
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Trusting third-party operators to subscribe to the values of your business. Allying one's self with like-valued companies is worth every penny yet to be spent.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Build your network, "ask for the business," recognize the good that's been done, and be thankful.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Never let your ego get between yourself and the customer. You all only win together.
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.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.