Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Audrey Wong, founder of Living Lotus Chocolate, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Living Lotus Chocolate. We make chocolate from the cacao bean, the purest form of chocolate. Our cacao beans are directly traded so that farmers are paid a fair wage. Our chocolate is vegan and also cruelty-free. By procuring cacao beans that are not from the commodity trade, we can help mitigate some of the problems that cause human harm in cacao farming. We use certified gluten-free outs, sustainable coconut sugar, and cacao beans to create our chocolate. Our customers are chocolate lovers (of course)! But they are also people who care about the environment, other human beings, and what they're putting in their bodies.
Tell us about yourself
I started Living Lotus 9 years ago, motivated by the simple fact that what we eat directly affects how we feel. I wanted to provide a better whole food option treat. I learned about the cacao bean and how this little seed of the cacao fruit can give us so much more. But then I also learned how we could help farmers and growers, which motivates me every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Turning this ship around during covid. We launched our bean to bar 6 months earlier than intended. With a lot less money than intended!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a "jack of all trades." In the beginning, you're an accountant, content creator, salesperson, inventory manager, and more. After a couple of years, it gets easier, but the start would be the most overwhelming part.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be a troubleshooter - Learn to go over, under, and around an obstacle to be able to find a solution.
- Always try - This one is obvious. Whatever task it may be, even if you don't like it.
- Be open to pivots - Businesses and industries are always changing.
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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