Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverages but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elizabeth Stamp, Assistant Manager of Lakewood Vineyards, located in Watkins Glen, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Lakewood Vineyards is a winery on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes area of New York. We have 100 acres of grapes and make exceptional wines that have won over 1600 awards and medals. We sell our wines through our tasting room, located at the winery, and to stores and restaurants in New York state and other neighboring states.
Tell us about yourself
I came to the winery through marriage. My husband, Chris, and I moved back to the farm where he was raised when the family decided to start Lakewood Vineyards winery. We had a new baby and no good options for child care for him, so I began helping in the tasting room where I could have our son with me. I feel very lucky to come to work with my family each day and to share our wines with guests. I also like learning new things, and my job has gotten more complex and challenging over time.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I feel like my biggest accomplishment is not just something that I did but being part of a family and winery team who have grown a business that is respected and appreciated by our guests, community, and within our industry. I am also proud that our children want to return to the business and continue the excellent work we have started.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Personnel certainly can be challenging. We have a wonderful team, but it takes work and lots of patience to keep it that way.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be sure the way you develop your business is something you can sustain (hours and offerings can be expanded more easily than they can be reduced).
- Own your mistakes and learn from them.
- Ask for help when you need 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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