Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amir Gehl, Founder of Difference Coffee, located in London, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Difference Coffee specialises in sourcing the world's rarest coffees and making these available in espresso-compatible capsules. Our customers are split into two: Private clients who purchase it for their homes and trade clients who are predominantly luxury hotels and Michelin restaurants.
Tell us about yourself
The idea for Difference came by accident. A short while after purchasing a Nespresso machine for my own home, I was curious to try rare varietals of coffee, such as the infamous Wild Kopi Luwak and the coveted Jamaica Blue Mountain. Neither was available in capsules, so I attempted to solve my own personal quest and stumbled upon an opportunity - sharing these with like-minded people who appreciate flavour. What drives me today is twofold - first, it is the joy I get when I see customers enjoy the products that we sell; it gives me tremendous pride. Secondly, and probably more importantly, is knowing the difference that my company makes in the lives of coffee farmers at origin - we are probably one of the highest paying coffee companies in the world to coffee producers.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To have some of the most acclaimed chefs on earth serving our coffee has been one big accomplishment. I think quite related is the meteoric growth we are currently seeing in Italy - I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that a non-Italian coffee brand would be accepted amongst Italians - but I guess quality wins. In fact, they are more enthusiastic about our product than chefs in our home country.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The uncertainty of not knowing what's going to work. Most of what we do is trial and error - educated guesses, gamble. And although we win more than we lose, it's very difficult to deal with losses because of internal fears that everybody has, particularly as you invest more and more money.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Work hard, work hard, and work hard. Great ideas fail because people give up too early. Mediocre ideas flourish because of tenacity.
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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