Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melanie Gagnon, Owner of Cork It Wine Making Ltd., located in North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a craft wine-making company based in North Vancouver, nestled in the North Shore mountains in British Columbia. Our clients create their own wines, sparkling wines, and ciders and package their own products. They are able to customize everything from the wines to the packaging, including custom labeling.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Melanie Gagnon, and I've been the owner of Cork It Wine Making since 2011. I have always been a wine lover, but I never did I expect to be the leader of a wine-making business. The business was founded by my late husband, David Bataille, in November 2000 and is still at its original location. After his passing, I took the reigns of the company and was taught everything I know about business through the support of my friends and family. The business is a true "ma and pa" shop, and our customers are just like family. My goal was not just to craft great wine but to build a community. Outside of making wine, our business also hosts many workshops, art shows, charity events, yoga classes, and more! Bringing people together is my passion.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment, in terms of recognition from my community, was when I was awarded the 2019 young entrepreneur award through the Chamber of Commerce. However, many of my achievements over the years have varied from the North Shore Readers Choice Awards ( 7 years running), hosting large charity events, and wine competition awards through the International Wine Makers Competitions.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being an entrepreneur certainly has its ups and downs. Things are always shifting, and there has to be a constant desire to seek out information and education. Sometimes I can take on too many projects at once. I'll soon be a new mother, and I will really have to master the art of balance, business, and family.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be passionate!
- Don't do it alone.
- Get out there and network.
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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