Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sky Choi, owner of Rejoice Coffee Co., located in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I make specialty coffee and non-coffee drinks in a spout pouch and deliver them to homes in the Lower Mainland. It’s convenient. The drinks stay sealed and fresh. I am Korean, and my drinks are Korean cafe style (k-drink).
Tell us about yourself
I started roasting coffee at home in 2015 as a hobby, then brewed coffee for friends and families. My drink recipes were very original and loved by many people before launching it as a business. I am motivated when people drink my cup and “Rejoice” for the day. I am making drinks to bring joy into people’s lives. I value people, so I wanted to do a business that can get personal with customers.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am making my day to the fullest from drink development, advertisement/marketing, website development, drink brewing, packaging, design, and home delivery. I am a solo owner that can fulfill all the above needs. I feel accomplished every day.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I am also a pastor at a Belonging Baptist Church and an owner/operator of Rejoice Coffee. It is hard to contextualize my spiritual passion into my work and love and give back to the community as much as I am thrilled to see it happen. The business is just kicking off, and I want to become a social enterprise making an impact in our local community. It’s simply hard as my dream has not come true yet, but steadily and patiently moving along the journey from the bottom up.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, don't just research, but try it out first. For me, I made drinks and purchased so many different kinds of packaging, from plastic bottles, glass bottles, cans, zip-lock type, etc., to make people have a hands-on user experience. And people tried my drinks for many years. The second tip is to have small step-by-step plans that propel you in each step.
After finding the perfect pouch packaging, I started with a small batch of cold brew coffee. Then, I began adding drinks with milk that increased higher sales. Then, I added other tea drinks and real-fruit drinks. My next step is to provide drinks that are kid-friendly drinks and various size options. Lastly, grow your credit (not only financial) by people around you, in the community, and particularly in the social network presence. I developed my brand in 2015 as a hobby, and my official business launched in 2021.
I built six years of credit by people around me as a "coffee pastor." Everyone knew what I was passionate about. I had a decent Instagram follower to start from, and my branding was already there before any product launch. You are the brand.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I want to emphasize that I have several attractive offers for people if they are interested in the product.
Free delivery $50+ order, otherwise $5 flat rate everywhere in YVR reach area up to West Van, Maple Ridge, Langley, and South Delta. My deliveries are made next-day from the order date.
Subscription (weekly/bi-weekly) plan for drinks and coffee beans.
Saturday ClubBox: offering build your own drink box that delivers free only on Saturday. The drink box menu changes weekly.
Non-dairy options and extra espresso options are available.
Only non-GMO, natural, and organic ingredients are used.
Pouch drinks can be warmed up or served over a cup of ice.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.