Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lia Battaglia, Owner of Little Dolcini, located in San Diego, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own and run a small home bakery in San Diego, California. I named my bakery Little Dolcini to represent my Italian American background. Although my bakery is 100% vegan and gluten-free, many of my customers are not. They are simply satisfied with the fusion of flavors I create.
Tell us about yourself
A few years ago, I had problems with my digestion and decided to remove gluten from my diet. During that period, I also became interested in veganism as it was commonly linked to eating gluten-free. Since almost all desserts contain gluten, I began experimenting with gluten-free and vegan baking. As my passion for veganism grew, so did my passion for baking. It completely amazed me how beautiful and tasty desserts can be made without harming animals. Many of my friends suggested that I start my own business, but I didn't feel confident yet. It wasn't until I looked further into beginning a small business that it really started to seem more achievable. Reminding myself of how far I've come, along with all the encouraging words from my friends and customers, motivates me to continue baking.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment would be getting invited to various farmer's markets. I participated in a few in 2019 when my business had just begun. It was an incredible experience. I got to meet other small business owners who encouraged and made me feel comfortable. I look forward to participating in more events in the future, if possible.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being the sole proprietor of my bakery can be strenuous since I'm not always feeling inspired or well enough physically to bake and deliver (or ship) desserts. However, what influences me to continue is when I receive messages of gratitude from my customers. It means so much to me when someone appreciates and adores their dolci.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Believe in yourself! Not everyone will believe in you, and that's okay. What matters is that you don't give up on your dreams or yourself.
- Don't compare your work with others. It's easier said than done, but having this mindset will make you more content with your work.
- Steadily grow your business. Starting a business requires time and patience. Begin with something simple, and branch off from there. Depending on the demographics of your customers and what they like, I'd suggest adjusting your business while also staying true to yourself.
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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