Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Louis-Frédéric Dessureault, Co-Owner of Ô Sirop, located in Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.

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

Ô Sirop is a Quebec-based cocktail and mocktail syrups company aiming to democratize mixology. We are providing cocktail lovers and bartenders with some delicious, flavoured syrups made from local, mostly organic, ingredients to build their favourite recipes or unleash their creativity to create the next “old fashioned.”

Tell us about yourself

I am an ex-athlete who played college football here in Canada and worked in the restaurant industry for most of my life. I started as a busboy and dishwasher and worked my way up the ladder throughout the years. I occupied pretty much all the positions in the front, from busboy to waiter and manager, and ended up finding my place behind the bar. I love entertaining people and giving them a good time.

I had the chance to coach football for 8 years as a full-time job and also worked as a business dev for a tech company prior to COVID, where I learned a lot about business tools. I joined Ô Sirop after losing two jobs due to the pandemic. My friend Maxime, who had started the company a couple of months earlier, asked me if I wanted to handle the sales, and I immediately accepted the challenge as I toyed with the idea of starting my own business for a long time.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I’d say my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is continuing to thrive and move forward after the explosion of our plant in March 2022. It totally destroyed the entire stock and equipment we had and forced us to start back from blank. It was emotionally hard to see our hard work go up in flames and lose everything. But we got back up, rolled up our sleeves, and rebuilt. We are now projecting a 276% sales growth by the end of the year. All that with a 3-month period without any activity at all after the explosion!

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

It's always hard for me not to expect the same level of energy and involvement from others. We’re not always at the same season of our lives and don’t all have the same aspirations, and we have to take that into account when dealing with partners, employees, distributors, etc. Also, as the great Gary V. would say, we can never ask our employees to work as hard as us. It’s our company, not theirs. But even knowing that, it’s still hard for me to accept that.

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

  1. Invest in yourself. Take the training, watch the tutorial, and download the e-book. Keep on learning. Always.
  2. Surround yourself with good people who complement you.
  3. Do it. Don’t fall into the trap of overplanning, overthinking, over everything, keeping you from doing. It’s never going to be perfect. Do, evaluate, and adjust.

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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