Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chef Lucy Sunflower, founder of Lost Vegas Tea and Spice House, located in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I make craft teas, spices and dried fruit and vegetable chips, and jerky! I’m called the Andy Warhol of culinary because my imagination and flavor combinations can only be described as weird. I love pushing the aesthetic of vegan food and playing on nostalgic dishes.
Tell us about yourself
I’ve been a professional Chef since 2008. Working in fine dining and high-volume restaurants exposes you to a world of exotic flavors. Early on, I noticed the type of high-end food I was making rarely saw people who looked like me. I started making seasonings and teas to help teach sustainable practices in neighborhoods within food deserts. It seemed really unfair that the people in low-income neighborhoods didn’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Even worse, the people in these neighborhoods are statistically at risk for conditions and diseases that fresh food options would help. I base my culinary style on food independence and sustainable food practices. Teaching skills like food preservation, seasonal produce, and nutritional goals to communities than are often forgotten is always my motivation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is having the motivation to keep going. I’m so grateful to be in a position where I can genuinely do what I love every day. I get to see the real-time results of making gluten-free, soy-free vegan food.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Hardest thing to come along with being a business owner is there’s no concrete how-to guide. A lot of us ventured out into areas of business that aren’t exactly what our parents wanted, lol. So me especially I’ve been learning as I go. It’s hard because a lot of businesses don’t share failures and mistakes. I think this makes people believe going into business for yourself is easy.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I have three sayings I came up with at various stages of business that I use as a daily mantra:
- It takes ugly tears for your dreams: meaning it’s not easy. It is overwhelming at times. And it’s ok to make mistakes.
- Don’t slow down at the finish line: you’ve put in so much work, time, and energy. Only focus on your goals.
- Life is good if you let it be: everyone has problems, and no one is perfect. It’s ok not to focus on the negative things in life.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I’m on a mission to bring vegan soy-free vending machines to lower-income neighborhoods.
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.