Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Heather Klassen, owner of Mugging Whales Premium Coffee Co., located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We sell freshly roasted coffee beans. We ship our coffee right to your door (or mailbox) anywhere in Canada. We want to help more people become mindfully aware of the type of coffee they consume and where it comes from by telling the story of where our coffees were grown. Although our coffee may not be labeled as fair trade, we focus on sourcing coffees from farmers who are being paid a living wage and are supported above and beyond fair trade standards.
Tell us about yourself
The idea for Mugging Whales Coffee began on our vacation to Maui, Hawaii, in 2018. In fact, much of our love for coffee comes from our travels. The experience of drinking a cup of coffee in the place where it was grown is something very special. We want to bring a little bit of this experience to our customers through our coffee's rich aromas and flavors.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Building an online business. Before the pandemic, we were always looking for shows and other opportunities to get our coffee in front of people so they could try it before they bought it. During the pandemic, our sales exploded! Our business took off because more people have been shopping online and supporting local.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
With so much focus on social media these days, it's hard not to compare my business to others. When I look at what other businesses are posting, I feel like I should be so much further ahead. I have to constantly remind myself that I'm doing just fine, and I need to grow at a pace that's right for me. I enjoy getting to know our customers and building my business through word of mouth.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Always remember why you started your business and let that guide your decisions.
- Grow at a pace that's right for you - sometimes slower growth is a good thing.
- Remember to have fun!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Although I run most of the business by myself, my boyfriend (Jim Born) is also my business partner. He gets the fun jobs like taste-testing new coffees ;)
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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