Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Kriebel, President & CEO, Co-founder of OMG! Pretzels, located in Plymouth Meeting, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
OMG! Pretzels creates an elevated snacking experience with our “ridiculously delicious” gourmet flavored sourdough pretzel nuggets. As a woman and family-owned business, OMG! Pretzels pride ourselves on using only premium ingredients and keeping our products 100% made in America. There are no pretzel nuggets on the market quite like OMG! Pretzels as each pretzel bursts with unbelievable crunch and flavor. Recognized as an award-winning product with strong consumer satisfaction, these pretzels are a must-have in every retail location.
Tell us about yourself
I originally got into the business to support my Mom, who is my partner and co-owner. At the time, I was working to build another company I had and volunteered my time to OMG! Pretzels in every way I could to help get it off the ground. I believed in the product because Mom had made our flagship Garlic pretzels for us as kids. I knew there was something to this because of the reactions I saw when people ate them and how they would ask my Mom where they could buy them, encouraging her to start a business. Together, along with the support of other family members, we lifted off and are now a national brand and continue to grow.
What motivates me is that each day is a new day, with its own challenges and achievements. Being a strategist, futurist, idea person, and achiever who loves taking risks and taking on new challenges, I love the planning and strategy involved in not just the day-to-day operations of the business but developing and implementing the long-term strategy as well. I often think of our business as a giant jigsaw puzzle, finding, twisting, turning, and placing the pieces until they lock into place. I’m good at puzzles - this is what running our business is like for me, and I love it!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment so far is leading our company to double its sales in the year since I took over the CEO position, putting in place the infrastructure and team that helped us to achieve this goal.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is balancing your time between the business and your personal life, especially at the beginning. Owning a business, especially as a solopreneur, is time-consuming, with long, hard hours wearing all hats. Burnout is a real possibility, and being mindful of this is one of the hardest things to remember because you are always on, always at the moment, and always thinking ahead, all at the same time. For me, being a food manufacturer and new to the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry, one of the hardest things I have had to do is learn about the industry. Making a premium snack product like OMG! Pretzels involve manufacturing processes, food regulations, multiple sales and marketing channels, and much, much more. Prior to OMG! Pretzels I had owned and operated several businesses, but they were service-oriented, not product-oriented, so this has been an entirely new experience for me with respect to CPG.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- There are all kinds of great, free resources out there to help you start and grow your business. Find them and use them.
- Be sure to take time for self-care. You will need this to be there for your business.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
When times get hard, they will remember to look back and remind yourself of all of the successes you’ve had and how far you’ve come. Keep a brag book or wall, if you can, to remind you of your achievements. It is during challenging times that you can refer to these things and keep your spirits up to remind yourself that yes, you can do it.
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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