Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nina Chteoui, Gann, Co-Owner of Macaron Queen, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We produce authentic French macarons with an American twist and are America's largest producer. Our customers vary from individuals to caterers and small businesses to large scale online and stores.
Tell us about yourself
Macaron Queen was a love project of my mom, Finia's. I took to the design side of the business from the onset. What we shared was our love for all things French. When we originally started, macarons were not as popular in the US as they were around the world. We took a small store in one of America's largest malls, Lenox square. We were surprised at how people were either familiar with the macaron and loved it, didn't care for it, or never had it. At the time, our brand message was the best quality for the best price. Today even though we offer macarons on a larger scale, we still pride ourselves on serving the best macaron. We use the highest quality ingredients; we have over 40 flavors and no fillers or GMOs. We are 100% women-owned and mostly women-operated.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment was when things got hard; we didn't quit. Running a small business is already difficult. But when you produce a product difficult to make and still have to do all the other things a small business owner does, sometimes it can be overwhelming. It's not like we placed an order for our product and just had to worry about marketing and daily operations. We are the manufacturer, the wholesaler, the brand, and much more.
In today's world, your business is ever-changing. Adapting to the online cycles is part of it. With that responsibility comes always preparing yourself to learn new things. Now we have done well at always learning about food manufacturing and learning about retail.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Sometimes it feels like the hardest part of being a business owner is being the owner. On other days the hardest part is fulfilling the obligations that you set for yourself and know are necessary to move the business forward without losing sight of your personal life. Life is a balancing act, and if the business owner does not have that balance, they themselves will not be leading by example; therefore, they won't be able to provide that balance to their employees.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't run a business just because you think it's better than the alternative. Do it because you have the drive to create something new and are willing to take on the hardships that come with it.
- Make a list for yourself so you can prioritize your tasks, and if you get sidetracked, you know where to pick up from.
- Trust in yourself to make the right decisions but always be willing to learn and get good advice. Surround yourself with people smarter than you.
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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