Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nathan Keffer, owner of Bandido Brewing, located in Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Bandido Brewing is a craft brewery in Quito, Ecuador. Our clients are made up of locals, tourists, and ex-pats.
Tell us about yourself
My business partner and I started Bandido Brewing while we were working at a backpackers hostel we had founded. We found that at that time in 2012, there were almost no options for craft beer in South America, let alone in Ecuador, and in our area, nothing similar to the American craft beers we were used to, so we decided to start brewing. Having focused mostly on pubs and restaurants in the last ten years, we see our brand not only as a beer producer but as a provider of experiences and good times in our locations.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Surviving the pandemic. Although that might sound cliché, the brewing industry was hit hard all across the world but especially in Ecuador, where there was zero government assistance. Because we didn't do a lot of distribution at the time, we were very limited in how we could operate, and just surviving until now has been a real accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The balancing act of doing what's best for your employees, your business, and yourself. Sometimes those three things don't align, and you are forced to make tough decisions. At Bandido Brewing, we've always done our best to support our employees as long as it didn't put the business in jeopardy, often putting their needs above ours as business owners.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make as many little mistakes as you can early on. They help you grow and develop as an entrepreneur and leader - and hopefully keep you from making too many large mistakes in the future.
- Make yourself redundant. In the beginning, you might have to wear a lot of different hats out of necessity, but as quickly as you can, bring in individuals who are better at that job than you were so that the company can grow and you can focus on the big picture.
- Take care of your employees first, and they'll take care of your product, customer, or business in return. And always try and lead by example.
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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