Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julie Mock, owner of Lazy J Coffee Shop, located in Crawford, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is a coffee shop and community center. We have tourists who travel the scenic CO Highway 92 along the stunning Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, and also local ranchers and farmers.
Tell us about yourself
After becoming an empty nester, I was looking to start my next chapter. I had no idea how rewarding it would be to have a shop that becomes a center for community interaction, collaboration, and encouragement. The coffee shop has taken on a life of its own, similar to Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (if you haven't seen that movie, it's a must-see!). I meet the coolest people traveling the US across Colorado, and I learn something new every day about agricultural farming life that gives me new respect and appreciation for where our food comes from.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I feel that any way you can inspire younger generations with hope and motivation to be self-sustaining and create positive contributions to the world is the way to be. This business has helped me do that.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I want to be able to provide jobs to everyone who wants one. However, the reality of the cost of operation in an area that is economically challenged and being solo at it (no spouse or business partner) are the biggest obstacles I face. Also, it takes huge amounts of energy and self-motivation to learn new things every day in order to launch and continue to grow a business. No one else will do it if you give up.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Make sure you have a great support system because there will be days that you are sure you can't keep going, and you will need someone else to tell you they believe in you. The best days are the ones where you look back and see how much you have learned and accomplished as a result, and when you are able to help someone else be inspired by that - it's all worth it.
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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