4 min read

Healthy Living Never Tasted So Good - Merci Mon Ami Dressing

Every bottle contains only the freshest ingredients, no preservatives, and has lots and lots of love! We hope everyone can have a bottle in the house readily available to enjoy.
Healthy Living Never Tasted So Good - Merci Mon Ami Dressing

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kevin MacDougall, managing partner of Merci Mon Ami Dressing, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

Merci Mon Ami Dressing is a business we created to sell our popular salad dressing, sauces, and salts. You could say Merci Mon Ami Dressing has become somewhat of a passion project to allow everyone the ability to create our very popular dishes in the comfort of their own home. Every bottle is made in our facility with no preservatives and a lot of love.  We hope everyone can have a bottle in the house readily available to enjoy and share with family and friends.

Tell us about yourself

I graduated from Ryerson University with a focus in finance and a goal to pursue a career in investment planning. Cindy graduated from Ryerson Television Arts and was working with City TV as a writer at the time she started We Cater To You.

Cindy and I never planned on being in the food industry, however, we both had a passion for food and discussed that we eventually wanted to do something we could call our own. In 2002 Cindy took an opportunity and started catering to offices in the greater Toronto area. The popularity of her food became too much to handle, so I quit my job, and we began working alongside each other (a feat on its own!). With passion, determination, sweat equity, and a little luck, we built our businesses spanning over 20 years.

If you are looking to start your own business, its only you are holding yourself back. Anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and passion. Cindy and I had no prior knowledge of operating a food business but have flourished simply because we love what we do. As the great John Lennon once said… "all you need is love."

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There are accomplishments every day when you own your own business, and every time you think you have hit a huge milestone and achievement, a bigger and better one comes along. Most recently we managed to change directions and navigate through COVID, who could have planned for that? That being said, overall, I feel our biggest reward outside of doing what we love is employing people and helping change their lives.

Over 20 years we have been fortunate enough to employ many people and create many great stories. Each one has given us a memory, and good or bad each memory has helped our business grow. When we see our employees get inspired by what we do and then leave to spread their wings and start something on their own, it hits home and touches our hearts. It makes what we do so much better.

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

There are plenty of difficult decisions to be made by anyone who owns a business. I feel the two most challenging tasks as an owner are both emotional ones; getting the right people on board and being able to control your emotions to stay focused.

  1. Getting the right people on your team is a key to creating the best culture. Great culture is what separates a successful business, and this has been proven time and time again.
  2. Staying focused can be challenging, especially in times that are slow such as the current economic climate. There is always a feeling you need more or need to change your business. Cindy and I have made small changes and pivot, but the core business plan and vision remain the same. It is important to listen to your customers, but do not let them change your vision.

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

Most importantly, pursue a business in something you truly love. It is hard work, an emotional rollercoaster, and you will spend endless hours building it. If you’re doing it for money alone, I believe you will fail. It would be difficult to spend 24 hours a day at something you hate doing, and that’s what it takes to be successful. Stay focused and stick to the plan. Everyone will tell you what they think you should do but don’t forget your goals and vision.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

As a hockey family, we must finish by quoting the great Gretzky.  You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://www.mercimonamidressing.ca/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mercimonamidressing/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-macdougall-58953429/

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email community@subkit.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.