Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kareema Batal, co-founder of Neo Juicery Ltd., located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Neo Juicery is a cold-pressed juice and plant-based beverage manufacturer. Our mission is to disrupt the status quo in food manufacturing. We do that by building a Responsible company that makes Energizing beverages that are Accessible and Local (REAL). The idea of a REAL food product is very important to us, and it guides everything we do. That's why we specialize in making beverages that are functional, nutritious, 100% organic, and made and sold locally by us. No intermediaries, no fillers, and no weird ingredients you can't pronounce. Just plants!
Our customers come to us from all walks of life, truly. What they share, though, is a deep commitment to supporting a local food system and prioritizing nutrition in their lives. They understand and support our vision for a connected, just. The local food system believes in the power of plant-based nutrition just like we do.
Tell us about yourself
I'm Kareema; I am a Food Scientist and the product developer and co-founder of Neo Juicery. My sole motivation for creating Neo Juicery and our product line was to bring to the market a food product that makes plant-based nutrition accessible and convenient. Everyone wants to eat more plants in their diet, but many people struggle to do that consistently. I've designed every one of our 28 juice products to be highly nutritious, functional, and, most important - delicious. This goal is perpetual for me, and it renews and gets stronger every time I hear how much our products are making a difference in someone's life. That is the core of why we juice - to help people stay nourished and well.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, my biggest accomplishment is being able to create and build Neo Juicery to where we are now, five years after launch. I am most proud of the fact that we have been able to create a product and service that people love and come back for. We are truly blessed to have such a loyal customer base, and that is the best thing I could have asked for as a business owner.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think the hardest thing that comes with being a business owner, for me, is managing the ups and downs of day-to-day life - both in running the business and being a human that runs the business. As an entrepreneur, I have a strong vision for what I want to see Neo Juicery become. With that comes a lot of ambition and ideas that are a constant stream of fuel for me on a personal and professional level. Running the day-to-day requires that I successfully balance ambition with realistic and consistent action. There is certainly an emotional toll that comes with oscillating between the creative highs and the realistic lows.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
For anyone looking to start, grow and run a business, I have three tips from my own experience that I think are worth putting out there. First, measure and be crystal clear on your emotional capacity before jumping into anything. Can you successfully commit, sustain and manage your emotional state or will you quit at the first curveball? Second, get REALLY good at managing money. Literally, take every educational opportunity you can find to learn about money, talk to other people about money, and work hard to make healthy financial decisions. Last and most important, stay humble as a person. That means don't be too proud to fail, make mistakes, take feedback and listen to others. It also means don't allow yourself to get too caught up (mentally and emotionally) in the hype of entrepreneurship and the "founder" concept. It's a cool label on your Instagram bio, but really no one cares but you, and if you care too much about your status, you will lose sight of your vision.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I appreciate the opportunity to share about Neo Juicery and a few things I have learned on this entrepreneurial journey.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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