Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alex Graham, owner of Brand 47 Coffee Co., located in Alberta, Canada.

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

We are a family-owned "extra" special coffee roastery. We started the business for our two boys, Jax and Niko, who both have Down syndrome. We wanted to start a business that we could pass on to them to provide meaningful employment. Our goal is to keep people caffeinated while providing employment, empowerment, and education around the special abilities community.

Our customers are people who love delicious and flavored coffee and need the convenience of having it in your home. Life is busy, no one gets enough sleep, so we wanted to provide that pick-me-up in the morning that tastes great even when it's brewed in a Mr. Coffee machine or Keurig.

Tell us about yourself

My wife Holly and I both have a background in emergency services. Holly has been an Advanced Care Paramedic for 15 years, and I was a member of the RCMP for four years and a Firefighter (shift workers live off coffee). I also have an educational background in business so starting my own wasn't a far stretch.

My motivation is easy, our kids. They mean the world to us, and we just want to make a difference in their lives and other people with different abilities.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment was starting! We moved from renting a commercial kitchen to roast for our first few months to taking out a business loan and renovating our own commercial roastery.

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

Time management. Both Holly and I work other jobs, and we have two busy kids. Finding time to invest in business activities like marketing or keeping the books up-to-date can be a struggle.

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

Really be passionate and love what you plan on doing. Starting and running a business is a lot of work, and if you don't love what you're doing, it can be hard. Commit the more you put into your business, the more you will get out of it. Find the right people. Giving up some control can be difficult, especially when your business is brand new. But surrounding yourself with the right team is a gamechanger.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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