Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Caroline Shifflett, Co-Owner of Hunter Glenn Estate, located in St. Helena, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a brother/sister winemaking duo, 4th generation of a grape-growing family in the Napa Valley. We are dedicated to small-production wines, made with minimal intervention both in the vineyard and the winery, that showcase true varietal characteristics and a strong sense of place. We are proud to call Napa Valley home and look forward to continuing our family's longstanding legacy with our wines.
Tell us about yourself
I had to leave Napa Valley to realize that it might be a place I'd want to return home to. Living in New York for 12 years gave me a new perspective and appreciation for wine, food, travel, and the community I came from. I wanted to make wines to put on the table that brought people together to share in something that is truly about the memories and experiences created when we get together to drink wine.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have had some of the highest highs and lowest lows over the past three years, mother nature has not been kind, with three tough harvests plagued by fire, drought, and extreme heat. But on the flip side, we've seen a growth in visitation and support of the wines we do have in bottles, building a loyal following and wine club that now supports us. After nine years of making wine, nothing makes me more excited than when someone says, "Oh, I heard about you guys and what you're doing...." word of mouth is starting to spread!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Walking the delicate balance of putting your effort into the most efficient and effective tasks. I tend to say "yes" to almost anything, but as this is a second job and a "side hustle," I need to manage my time wisely and focus my attention.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Chase opportunities, make sure it's a passion, it's 24/7, so you have to love what you do. And all the advice you may seek from others is helpful, but it's just one person's opinion. Continue to follow your gut to get where you're going.
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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