Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Diana Todorova, Co-Owner of Estero Bay Olive Oil and Tea, located in Estero, FL, USA.

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

Estero Bay Olive Oil and Tea is a concept store that my boyfriend and I built four years ago. We have premium loose leaf tea and make tea drinks - boba tea, ice tea, hot tea, and various flavors of lattes. We carry over 200 blends of white, green, black, oolong, pu-erh, chai, wellness, herbal and Ayurvedic teas.

We also have over 80 flavors of award-winning premium olive oil and balsamic. We are very proud of our high-polyphenol extra virgin olive oil. Our products come from all over the world - we sell olive oil from the most decorated producers in Spain, Greece, Italy, Tunisia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Australia.

Tell us about yourself

I moved to the US 6 years ago after I won the green card lottery. I was a tv host in Bulgaria (12 years hosting shows and traveling around the world). I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, so I moved to the US. I met my boyfriend here, and we started this concept together. He had opened two other stores before that, excluding the tea. We spiced it up and added more variety :)

What motivates me is I want to create a space where people absolutely love to visit to unwind, to sip the flavors of the world slowly. I am very passionate about a healthy lifestyle, and I would like to bring awareness to the many health benefits of the polyphenols in olive oil and tea.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I don’t think I have reached my biggest accomplishment yet. I am just happy to be able to provide a great experience to our customers and jobs to many young people that are looking for a different, less corporate way of working.

I am also very excited to see how the business has been growing every year - between 60-120% per year. We have only 5-star reviews on Google, and seeing the love we get from our customers makes us think we are on the right path. I am aspiring to move forward and expand :)

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

Managing your personal time. I work non-stop, but I like it! There are many ups and downs. The beginning is always difficult, but once you take the first step and don’t overextend yourself with unrealistic goals, things will get smoother and become more confident.

I also own a photography business - I am an architectural and interior photographer and photograph projects for some of the top designers and builders in Florida. My work is published in most home design magazines like Home and Design, Florida Design, Gulfshore life, etc. When I am not shooting - I’m working on ideas for our store and vice versa.

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

Don’t look at other successful entrepreneurs and compare yourself to them. In the beginning, I was making that mistake, and I had days that I was feeling down because the growth was so slow. The first couple of years when I moved to the US - I didn’t make any money. I remember crying in the shower and praying to God to help me figure it out. I moved here because I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t want to work for anyone. But it is tough. Just be sure you are unique and valuable, and don’t compare yourself to others. Find how to help others and be of service - then you can grow exponentially.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Make sure to take at least two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil every day. Recommended by the American Heart Association. It is believed that it helps to fight high cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and prevent diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

And research Oleocanthal - it’s mind-blowing how nature is providing us with the most powerful medicine through our foods.

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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