Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Luke Champion, Co-Owner of Good Cheese, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

We are a retail cheese shop & bottle shop. We sell a curated selection of products we love from all over the world and are passionate about finding delicious combinations. I think the real joy of food is making new discoveries and finding new combinations that work. Using familiar ingredients in different ways and combining them with new ones. Our customers run the gamut, from locals who stop in to pick up a weekday bottle of wine to passionate gourmands who are scouring the province for that one ingredient they can't find. We pride ourselves on being approachable, knowledgable, and helpful.

Tell us about yourself

I've been working in food & beverage for 20+ years; what I love is pretty simple--making people happy. I get to play a small role in the important moments in people's lives. It's also a very social job that allows for a lot of discussions, every day is new and interesting, and we always have new products coming into the shop to try.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is just surviving, I think. The past 3 years particularly have been tough ones, but we've managed to adjust how we do things to accommodate the changing climate and continue to grow.

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

Managing time, managing people. I think you have a lot of responsibilities as a leader when you start your own business: to create a safe and rewarding work environment, to create a fun one, and to be loyal to the business and keep it profitable. It can be difficult to balance all of your different roles at once.

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

I think the only way to do it is just to do it but be prepared for the amount of work ahead. You have to kind of be ready to dedicate your life to it and make everything else secondary, at least initially. It's a LOT of work, but if you love doing it, then it's all worth it. It's really rewarding to create something out of nothing and watch it grow.

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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