Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Taylor Fields, Founder and CEO of Nostalgia Coffee Roasters, located in San Diego, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Nostalgia, we source, roast, and deliver exceptional coffee with an unparalleled sensory experience. Our mission is to use our coffee as a catalyst for systemic change, of which equity, inclusion, diversity, and sustainability are at the core. It all starts by making sure that everyone on our team is paid a thriving wage and an equal wage. Period. We ensure that women, LGBTQ, and BIPOC community members are in leadership roles. We work directly with producers to ensure they earn a thriving rate and fair price for their hard work. We give 5% of our revenue directly back to producers each year, and we are working to make the majority of our coffee 100% women-produced.
We also want to make our exceptional coffee accessible to everyone, anywhere. We do this by roasting with a unique and manual roasting style that allows for approachable tasting notes for everyone. Additionally, with our innovative brew bags, we are able to get award-winning coffee to people around the world without the need for equipment.
Tell us about yourself
I thought coffee was doing everything right (direct trade, organic, fair trade, etc.). Well—once I started in the industry as a gay woman, I quickly realized the coffee world needs to be better, do better, and actually become equitable, inclusive, diverse, and sustainable.
Personally—I am a former CPA turned entrepreneur, innovator & an absolutely coffee-obsessed human! I started Nostalgia out of a trailer in 2018 with nothing more than a lot of passion for coffee and the want to do better for the world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Today, Nostalgia Coffee has over 12 team members, a 3,000 sqft roastery, and a cafe, and we source over 50% of our coffee from women-owned farms! We donate 5% of our revenue back to producers, and we are making waves in the B2B coffee world with numerous Fortune 100 clients. I was also just named one of Inc Magazines Top 200 Female Founders of 2023!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Acquiring funding as a female founder is a huge challenge. Just a few years ago, only 3% of the reported VC funding went to female-led companies. Being a member of the LGBT community adds another layer of complexity. However, I have found that obstacles can become your greatest strength, and I have dedicated my coffee-buying efforts to help support people like me, with our company now buying almost 70% of our coffee from women-owned farms or producers.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start with the end in mind. I mean this as you have to begin with a goal, a mission, a vision, and a passion that is bigger than yourself, or you won't make it through the long hours and sleepless nights.
- Surround yourself with people that are better than you. A good team makes a strong company, but also finding mentors and advisors who have done it before and can help you see the big picture is crucial.
- Reach for the stars! A cliche for a reason, if you don't dream big enough to be considered crazy, then you are probably selling yourself short. If it was easy, it would already have been done, so do better and dream bigger.
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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