Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nina Ross, Owner of Nina's Cookie Explosion, located in Baltimore, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Nina's Cookie Explosion is a cookie business located in Baltimore, MD. Customers are able to mix and match their favorite doughs and toppings to make the perfect cookie or cookie dough for them. We currently deliver in the Baltimore area free of charge and ship nationwide.
Tell us about yourself
Baking was always a passion of mine since I can remember. My family would have cookie parties every year where friends and family would come over, and we'd make a bunch of cookies for Santa. The cookie parties gave me the concept for Nina's Cookie Explosion, and I knew I wanted to start this business when I was 8.
During the pandemic, my full-time job became part-time, and I decided to start the business of my dreams. It's been 2 years, and it's amazing to watch it grow. I am motivated every day by seeing the joy in people's eyes every time they eat or even see a cookie.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is growing the business from the beginning. I am thankful to the city of Baltimore for exposing small businesses in many ways, including the news, articles, social media, podcasts, and other small businesses as well. Nina's Cookie Explosion started as just me in my home kitchen. 2 years later, I am in a commercial kitchen with 4 part-time employees. The progress was slow but amazing to watch.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think that balance is difficult for me as a business owner. I am currently still at a full-time job and balancing that, my business, other hobbies, and relationships can get difficult. It's really easy to put all your extra time and effort into your business when it's your passion, so sometimes you have to take breaks, hang out with friends and family and relax.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start. There is no "perfect time" to start a business, and nothing is going to be perfect. Start now and make adjustments along the way.
- Be flexible. If the pandemic taught us anything, it's that things can change quickly and with no notice. Be able to adapt to your customers' wants and needs while staying true to yourself and your brand.
- Celebrate ALL your wins - Even the small ones. Your business will grow without you even realizing it.
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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