Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Cann, owner of body-fit-nutrition.com, located in Upper Marlboro, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
BodyFit Nutrition is an Artisanal Wholesale/Retail Online Bakery specializing in sugar-free, no sugar added, reduced sugar, and high protein sweets. The baked goods in our online Gourmet Bakery are made from scratch, the old-fashioned way, by hand, and baked per order in small batches.
Tell us about yourself
This little company was established in 2014. It is a Women, Veteran, and Minority Owned, and it is Certified and insured. I began this journey at the age of 46 as a female bodybuilder and daughter of a diabetic, just trying to satisfy my sweet tooth and trying to find other options for making a sugar-free cheesecake (my favorite). I started with cookies and wanted other things I could share with my mother. They had to taste great and be high in protein. It took almost a year and many cookies and cheesecakes, but I managed to find the solutions I needed to produce a sugar-free, high-protein product that did not taste like sawdust. From there, I have continued to add some amazing pastries, cakes, and cookies to the product line that other bakers don't offer sugar-free. This is my happy place, knowing that what I do puts smiles on those with diabetes and Crohn's disease.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would say being able to stay in business through COVID. There were many more challenges small business owners went through than the public knows. There were and still are times when I go to bed thinking we might not make it another month. But somehow, we manage to make it to another month.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
- As a small baker in a specialty niche, it's really difficult to keep prices low because you can not buy in bulk if the ingredient is available in bulk. Most distributors require a minimum that is way above what most of us can pay. So finding suppliers that will work with you is difficult.
- Generating enough business to stay in business. Finding customers when you are an online business only is another difficulty.
- You can't grow if you don't have the capital. The ability to scale your business can limit your growth.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Dream the business. Write down what you envision.
- Really do your market research.
- Take your time. This will help you when taking steps one and two to build your plan.
- I would suggest any new business owner find mentors for each aspect of the business.
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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