Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jinhee Lee, Founder of JINBAR, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

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

Jinbar is a place where you can experience Korean-inspired bold and creative flavors in a beautiful heritage building. Award-winning Chefs create unique, flavorful food and cocktails. It is a very warm and cozy place to hang out with friends and family.

Tell us about yourself

I am Jinhee Lee the owner-chef of JINBAR. I came from Korea 16 years ago. I fell in love with cooking in Canada, so I took the Professional Cooking Program at SAIT. After graduation, I was the Chef de Cuisine at a Hotel and then the Executive Chef of an independent restaurant for more than ten years, and I collected numerous accolades such as Gold Medal Plate 2016, Canadian Culinary Championships 2017, and winner of PEI international Shellfish Festival. After all the hard work in the industry, I really wanted to open a place that shows my true passion for food and drinks.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We opened this business during a pandemic. It was not an easy start due to all the lockdowns, but we have a strong team, and we managed and were able to design a menu that can help hold the business with all the restrictions. That's how we earned the spot for Best New Bar at EnRoute and Canada Best 100. We are Best New Bar at EnRoute. Also, we are

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

I need to be multiplayer in a restaurant. Looking over the BOH and FOH. Another thing is I have to deal with the non-culinary side of the business. Our place is located in a century-old heritage building; it is a wonderful place; however, it comes with a lot of maintenance such as water backup, power down, no AC during heat waves, etc. It falls under my responsibilities now.

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

The top 3 tips I will give to anyone who wants to start a business are to believe in yourself, be patient, and take care of yourself physically and mentally.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I think being a business owner is not easy, but stay calm and believe in your dream, and keep working to achieve your goal. Also, have fun!

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.