Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bastien Ornano, Owner of J'aime French Bakery, located in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a small french bakery that offers traditional french baked goods such as croissants, tarts, quiches, and crêpes. We have a lot of different customers, which makes this job a lot of fun, but I'd say that most of our customers are individuals living in the neighborhood.
Tell us about yourself
I used to be a sales manager, and my dream was to open my own bakery in the USA. After a year in pastry school, I decided to pursue my dream and moved to Philadelphia! Being a part of people's daily life is truly the thing that motivates me the most! It is so rewarding to see all of our regulars every day sharing about their lives and getting to know them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner would be navigating and surviving during Covid (as a business, of course) and coming back even stronger as we just opened our second location a few weeks ago!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me is, without a doubt, lacking social interaction outside of the workspace! I work seven days a week and wake up at 3:30 am, so I have to go to bed at 8:30/9 pm, which doesn't allow me to go out much, whether it's to go to a nice dinner, a sporting event, or a concert.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- When you go home, try not to think about the business to allow yourself to have a mental break.
- If you don't have business partners, get some (at least 1). It will make your life easier to have someone you can count on to discuss issues/challenges.
- Do not give up (especially when things get tough). I had some difficult times and almost gave up a few times, but I'm so happy I didn't at the time!
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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