Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mark Oberle, Owner of Meadiocrity Meadery, located in San Marcos, CA, USA.

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

Meadiocrity Mead is an alcohol producer, but unlike a typical brewery or winery, we make alcohol with honey; no grapes or grains needed! Our customers are generally craft drinkers looking for a unique beverage that you don't typically see at the local gastropub.

Tell us about yourself

I started making mead after taking some winemaking courses at a local university but was drawn to the same "terroir" of the wine world but even more direct -- being able to taste flowers and sunshine in alcohol form. A primary motivation for me is that in this industry, I get to help people experience something most have never had before. It's rare to have an opportunity like that in today's marketplace and incredibly satisfying when most consumers think they've seen it all.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Helping to create a new beverage industry. Mead is the oldest alcohol in the world, but it is only recently gaining popularity as drinkers look for more unique, more sustainable craft options. Being one of the top producers defining mead styles for an emerging industry is a fun place to be.

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

You can make all the right decisions and still fail. Business is a complex system of products, people, and perceptions. Part of being a business owner is the ability to adapt strategy on the fly, even when you already think you're right, to best fit your products to sell now while setting yourself up for growth in the future. There is rarely a template to follow, but having a mentor can help.

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

  1. Find a mentor that has done it before. Starting a business is harder than you think, and when you finally realize it, you're going to need help.
  2. Get good at being humble. You'll never be more wrong being a business owner. Learn to stand your ground but know when it's time to adapt.
  3. There are a lot of people that are looking to take advantage of you. Don't assume that every marketer, nice business partner, or vendor has your best interests in mind. Get agreements in writing and make sure you have an out if your business relationships don't go the way they should.

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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