Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nick Bradac, owner of OpenDoor Coffee, located in Genoa, IL, USA.

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

We are OpenDoor Coffee, a coffee shop/cafe with a drive-through. Everyone who enjoys connecting with others, being valued, and giving is our customer. And we have pretty great coffee, pastries, sandwiches, wine, and beer as well.

Tell us about yourself

My wife, Stephanie, and I wanted to create a space in the community for people to come together and meet one another. The town we live in, Genoa, IL, is such a great community, but it lacked enough quality social space, and it turns out coffee/tea/drinks and a light faire is a pretty great way to get people to come together. We are consistently motivated by the opportunity to serve one another and be the bright light in someone's day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Seeing our team grow and take responsibility for their work each day. We laid the foundations, but they've taken our dream and vision above and beyond our dreams.

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

Dealing with money. Skyrocketing material costs, payroll increases, unexpected expenses, and unavailable materials due to supply chain issues cause some trouble. These last few years have been challenging.

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

  1. It's worth it, especially when it doesn't feel like it is. You'll consistently be surprised how encouraging others will be at exactly the right time, and that will keep you going when you feel it's all been a waste of time.
  2. Keep going, especially when you feel like you can't. A big win is just on the other side of the mountain of work you have already completed. Just keep going.
  3. Always be caring for yourself, your team, and your guests in that order. You can't love your neighbor if you hate yourself, and you can't care for your guests if you're carrying offense against a fellow team member. Everything else will work out if you work from the inside out.

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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