Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Craig Smith, co-owner of Idaho Spice Company LLC., located in Caldwell, Idaho, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Idaho Spice Company is a spice blend, dried herbs, and pepper business. We currently have two employees, me and (the smartest woman I ever met) my wife. Our goal is to give our customers the freshest, tastiest blends they could ever wish for. We handcraft our blends and daily mix and package them.
Our customers are people who don't want blends, seasonings, or herbs that have been sitting around in a warehouse for six months. Our customers want and expect the best.
Tell us about yourself
Well, I found myself in a midlife crisis. I didn't want to continue doing what I was doing, and I loved food and cooking. So, I quit an amazing government job and chose to get into the food business. The timing worked out perfectly. My wife had signed me up to be on the Great Food Truck Race, and a week after I quit my government job, they called us up and asked if I wanted to be on the show. So, I got to be on The Great Food Truck Race season 10. We were Frank-N-Slides. We didn't win, but it was an amazing opportunity, and that's where maybe I thought I had it.
My daily motivation is our customers. Without them, we are nothing. We strive daily not just to meet their expectations but exceed them greatly. At the end of the day, we want to please our customers.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a new business owner, you are always concerned or scared about how others will perceive your product. Is it the right product, does it please your customers, or will they come back? For me, our biggest accomplishment was when a mother of four came and found us and said, "you make cooking so much easier." That hit me, and I'll remember that forever.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things as a new business owner is brand recognition. We are trying really hard to distinguish ourselves from others that may not care as much as we do.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Research, research, and then... more research. Know the market you are getting into. Know it like the back of your hand. And once you know it...Do it ten times better.
Capital... Do not let anyone tell you that it costs too much to start. We started will a very limited budget and very little capital.
Lastly, do not let anyone tell you that you can't. Some of the greatest inventions were because others said you can't.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm not going to lie. It was a struggle in the beginning. Are we making the right choices, are we trying to sell the right products, or will anyone buy this? If you truly believe in your product or service, then stick with it.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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