Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Messmer, co-owner of Cup & Kettle, located in Bloomington, IN, USA.

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

Cup & Kettle is a loose leaf tea company and cafe. Our tea company creates small batch tea blends that we sell in stores, our cafes, and online. Our cafe offers an extensive variety of loose leaf teas, espresso, wine, cider, and baked goods. Our tea customer is anyone who enjoys a fine cup of tea, and our cafe customer is from the Bloomington area who enjoys a cup of something tasty in a cozy atmosphere.

Tell us about yourself

I began work on the business in 2014, learning everything I could about tea and tea manufacturing. In 2016, we launched our first product line and were able to open the cafe in 2017. I wake up excited every day to come to work. I love that I have a home base to watch my creations come to life. Each day is different and full of new inspirations and challenges; I am never bored.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been all of the amazing relationships I've created and maintained over the years.

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

The hardest part of being a business owner is learning to run towards setbacks with enthusiasm.

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

Team development is essential to starting any business. Common startups require a banker, broker, lawyer, and insurance agent. It's best to create professional relationships with these core people. They can offer mostly free advice as they are invested in your success because if you succeed, they succeed. Starting small, I've seen many businesses over-extend themselves initially and fail. Always start with small with the mindset that your projections could be 30 percent less than anticipated. Then, as your business grows, decide if you want to add new offerings. It's never too early to create your community; as soon as you know you're reasonably close to launching, let the world know and start generating excitement around what you're creating.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Starting a business is an amazing opportunity to see your creations come to life. Learn to see failure as an avenue for personal and professional growth. And finally, look for ways to use what you create to bring value to your community.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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