Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nan Eskenazi, co-founder of Good Earth Cafes Ltd., located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

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

We create coffeehouses. Good Earth Coffeehouses are community-centric places that serve ethically sourced coffee and fresh, wholesome food. We aspire to create places like coffeehouses of the old, where people gather to engage with each other - a social space fuelled by exceptional people and products. Since 1991, we have maintained our commitment to environmental good throughout our business.

Our coffeehouse customers are people who value exceptional coffee and good food, social interaction, local business, and environmental commitment. Our franchise customers are people who value all of that and want to own their own Good Earth Coffeehouse. We help people get into business for themselves but not by themselves. Now we have over 50 coffeehouses in Canada, and we continue to grow through franchising.

Tell us about yourself

I started out with my own coffeehouse, created with my partner Michael Going. Our coffeehouse was my home, an extension of how I lived my life and what I valued. As our business grew, one coffeehouse became ten, and we saw that every one of them needed an owner to bond with the community of people who were our customers. And so, we morphed our business model into a franchise, began attracting people who wanted to own a community coffeehouse and helped them realize their vision of business ownership.

Every day I work to ensure Good Earth remains true to its values and to bring the coffeehouse experience to more people - our customers and also people who want to own their own coffeehouse.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our business has endured for over thirty years, and in that time, we have stayed true to our founding values and our vision. That has taken commitment, optimism, creativity, care for one another, honesty with ourselves, and above all, a shared belief in our vision. Having an endless supply of great coffee helps too.

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

Ownership is a balance between keeping the spirit of your vision alive and thriving while attending to a myriad of details and decisions. It's a balance of highs and lows, data and intuition, growth and setbacks. It's riding a wave or tide that you cannot often control or predict and finding joy and inspiration in that challenge.

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

  1. Be clear in your vision of what you want to create. This means asking yourself questions and listening to the answers.
  2. Carry humility with you. Your customers, co-workers, and professional support network have a lot to offer you in your business and personal journey.
  3. Find your marathon mindset. There are places in the journey to sprint, but you probably can't sprint the entire way.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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