Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Francesca Montillo, Founder of Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures, located in Medford, MA, USA.

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

I own Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures, and as the name might imply, I lead culinary tours to Italy! I plan, organize and lead these tours to various regions in Italy and bring folks there to eat, drink and enjoy my native land. We take cooking classes, visit wineries, take part in street food tours and eat and drink our way around the most beautiful land! Customers are foodies who enjoy experimental travel. That includes couples, singles, friends, siblings, and many solo travelers who sign up and make many friends along the way!

Tell us about yourself

I am a 3x published cookbook author. I started my business in 2016 based on a love for food, wine, and Italian travel. I was born in Italy and always believed everyone, and I mean everyone, should experience Italy and least once in their lifetime, preferably more. I am an organized person; I always enjoyed returning home to my native land and decided to build a business off of this. I also love cooking and food. I fully believe that the best way to assimilate to any culture is not by visiting a museum (beautiful though they might be) but by getting to know the locals via their cuisine - what they eat and drink around the table with families, where they shop, how they cook, and all about their food culture and customs.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Coming back after Covid! I was sure that my business was over, but 2022 is turning into my most successful year. After two years of postponed trips, it feels amazing to be back and see that folks are ready, willing, and able to travel!

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

Managing your time. It can be difficult to work for yourself and from home. Either you're always working, or it's too easy to slack and get wrapped up in household chores or running errands. Trying to find a balance can be difficult.

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

  1. Time: You have to allow time for your business to grow. At least in my experience, it took several years before I saw even a small profit. My accountant said I had an expensive hobby! Few are the businesses that turn a profit in the first few years. I worked my FT time job for several years into my business and worked it all during the pandemic.
  2. Persistence: You must be persistent, whatever that means for your business. I believe it's different for everyone, but you must keep at it daily.
  3. Follow your heart: I know it sounds like a cliché, but your heart knows more than your head! The head is good at balancing your budgets and P&L, but your heart will tell you if you're in the right field. You could be earning a lot of money, but if you're miserable, you will never succeed.

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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