Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ntina Skoteiniadis, Founder and CEO of Meltémi Brands, Inc., located in Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

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

My company is meltémi Brands, Inc., and we are the proud makers of meltémi Greek Yogurt. Our customers are people who enjoy eating foods that are not only good for you but taste good too!

Tell us about yourself

I love Greek yogurt. I fell in love with it as a kid, visiting my family in Greece. Coming back to the US, it was a bummer that there was no Greek yogurt here. But today, there is loads of Greek yogurt; however, I thought really none of it was as good as what one can find in Greece. So we (my husband and I) decided it was time to make a yogurt worthy of being called "Greek yogurt." It's true Greek strained yogurt, made with yogurt cultures from Greece, and truly all-natural. What motivates me are our customers' reactions when they try meltémi! We have been fortunate to receive such wonderful comments, and I get up and dance every time I receive one!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

So far, it is making a great product! We also have a great team, and I think we have created a good environment for us all to work in.

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

The hardest thing for us is being a young and small company in the food industry, where we are competing with big, established companies, and our food industry, from suppliers, manufacturers, and supermarkets, is all geared toward large companies. Companies that can do volumes get the benefit of discounts, economies of scale, and, quite frankly, they get better customer service. When you are small, it's hard to get someone to care about you.

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

  1. Have a plan B. It makes you sleep easier at night, and you can't afford to lose sleep.
  2. Think big. Think about how you would run your business if money were not an issue. Then try to see what is really practical for you to do.
  3. Have a good lawyer. Consult them when setting up your business, make sure you have any necessary licenses, put together employment contracts, etc. It will save you headaches down the line.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Support small businesses. I always thought this was a nice thing to do for businesses, but now I realize that it's actually better for me as a consumer. In a small company, the people making the product or service you are buying are actually much more involved in every step in the process and closer to the product they are making. And that usually means they care a lot more about what they are making, and so at the end of the day, you get a much better product.

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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