Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Jacobson, founder, and owner of Fireworks Chefs Butters, located in Boulder, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Fireworks Chefs Butters! We cater to home chefs who have discerning palettes and are looking for the very best to serve on their tables and create delicious meals with. Our customers like to celebrate life by eating well and sharing special moments with loved ones. They look for new and exciting products that promote their lifestyle. Our brand chooses sustainability, ethical treatment of animals, and good stewardship for the earth. We uphold these values every day, and in every decision we make.
Tell us about yourself
I'm kind of a food nerd. I started clipping recipes from my grandmother's Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines when I was 12. My mom didn't like to cook when I was growing up. Since it was just she and I in our house, I took on the task of trying a few recipes here and there. I'd show her the grocery list, and we'd go shop together. Fast forward 25 years, through married life, I found myself still drawn to cooking and learning new techniques. We had a family recipe for steak butter that was passed down through my husband's side. It was always on the table for special occasion steak dinners. I was intrigued to see what I could create on my own using butter as the blank canvas. So in 2016, I started testing recipes and start selling them around Boulder. Fast forward to 2022, I'm still working on perfecting each recipe, finding the best local suppliers, and working diligently to give back to our community through our partnership with Boulder Bridgehouse.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Well, materially speaking, my biggest accomplishment has been winning a national food award trophy. I'm a member of the Specialty Food Association, which is a national trade association. They give out Sofi Awards each year for excellence in packaged specialty food. I was the lucky recipient of this award in 2019 for Best New Product in the "other dairy" category. It was an honor to be a part of something so big outside of my small Boulder domain. But honestly, the biggest accomplishment I feel beyond receiving the Sofi is every year, I stay in business. I learn and grow from each new experience, relationship, iteration, and so on. I feel extremely lucky to be in the position I'm in to get to learn from the food industry and my community of local food creators, farmers, and CPG experts.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Well, that question in itself is hard! There are so many hard things that come with this. Running a business as a solopreneur can be very lonely. It's hard to face problems and challenges alone. It's hard to keep the focus some days, and for others, it's hard to shut it off. But with all of that, there is the fundamental joy of learning and solving problems and bettering oneself through working on fulfilling projects.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you are passionate about the product you are making, selling, and marketing.
- Get comfortable being uncomfortable a lot of the time. I wish someone had explained this to me earlier on. I think I would have benefitted sooner from that advice.
- Bootstrap for as long as you possibly can. You get the most control and financial gains from this. Learn to be lean and find ways to cost cut on everything.
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.
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