Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gail Winters, co-founder of GoodLot Farm & Farmstead Brewing Co., based in Ontario, Canada.
Tell us all about your business...
Essentially, I am a flower farmer for beer! I grow hops for our on-farm brewery in Caledon, Ontario. #Farmraisedbeer is our slogan. We grow organically and support regenerative agricultural practices. In addition, our brewery is solar power operated. We've created a community comprised of avid beer drinkers, foodies, and locals, young and old!
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
My partner and I moved to our 30-acre farm from Toronto in 2009. We soon realized that we wanted to grow hops and sell to the rapidly growing craft beer industry. We loved growing these flowers (tall vines that grow 20 feet high each season!) and decided to create our ales and lagers using our farm-grown ingredients. We then retrofitted our old barn into a brewery and launched GoodLot in 2017.
My motivation each day comes from a few factors. Mainly, I love the traceability factor in the product we create, appreciating that I'm not drinking trace amounts of fungicides and pesticides typically sprayed on this crop. Secondly, I get to work outside, tending our soil for a good portion of the year. And lastly, it's an honor to serve our amazing community! We have two beer gardens here on the farm, and it's a joy to meet neighbors near and far!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I seem to have an innate ability to hire the best team! I love the people we surround ourselves with. They are creative, community-minded people, that possess a ton of positivity.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?
Initially, launching the business took a ton of focus and energy. There wasn't a lot of personal balance. And since our company operates on our family farm, I've had to create boundaries and self-discipline techniques to differentiate between personal and business affairs. It's easy to work 'all the time, but you need to refuel and reset each day.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
1- Be in tune and trust your gut (meditate 5 mins daily:)
2- Be a good listener.
3- Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Envision your success every day! Take pleasure in your most minor accomplishments. Let your heart lead rather than the bottom line for personal fulfillment.
Where can people find you?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.