Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with John O'Neil, Founder of Dude Food Fire, LLC., located in Dallas, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Dude Food Fire is a spice company that is online-only and subscription, based-though spices can be purchased without membership. Our customers include anyone that wants to up their cooking game with unique and versatile spice rubs and seasoning blends found nowhere else.
Tell us about yourself
I have been a chef and worker in the food and beverage industry for close to 30 years, working in almost every single aspect of a kitchen and restaurant (in the front and back of the house). I graduated from Culinary School in Scottsdale over 20 years ago. I believe this not only makes for great recipe creations but also for storytelling to my customers.
I am sharing my knowledge and history so you can have a complete experience with your family and friends. Covid is what got this spice company idea off the ground. Since more people were staying home, that meant more and more people were cooking not only on a weekly but daily basis. I have had most of these spice blends used as tried and true recipe builders over the last 15-20 years. Always giving consistent results. So why not make this into a business? My wife said, "Great! Let's do it".
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To see my creations of a spice blend go from something I taste in my head to the delivery of the packaged shipments-and of course, to have customers to provide them to.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Time and task management are the hardest things to maintain for me as a chef and creator. So much time, energy, and financial resources go into a workable product. Whatever I want to make for a new product takes at least 7-10 weeks from conception to fruition. Then comes the making of recipes/photos/videos for the website and all of my social media.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT YOUR PLANNER. Digital or manual does not matter. Have partners, mentors, and/or people who can keep you grounded and focused. It will be very easy to get caught up in the tiniest of details and, just as conversely, get caught up in the Huge ideas.
These people you surround yourself with will help you to see and put other pictures in clearer view. Research, more research, and then more research. What are the two (not just one) things that set your product/service apart? A few of the things where DFF is different is in the packaging. Our core belief from the beginning was and is to "reduce and reuse."
All of our packaging for every blend can be recycled into something of further use since it has a watertight seal and takes up very little space.
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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