Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Pascale Hall, CEO of Opening Bell Coffee, located in Dallas, TX, USA.

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

Opening Bell Coffee is a coffee shop by day and an acoustic live music venue at night. Supporting local artisans, creators, and musicians is our priority, and our customers are lovers of quality coffee and great music. We have been in business for almost 20 years and are proud of the inclusive, supportive, and creative space we have created.

Tell us about yourself

I sold paper at a paper company (yup, just like the show) for years until I finally decided I wanted to leave the corporate world and start my own coffee shop. Initially, it was stock market-themed (where the name Opening Bell comes from) until a young musician asked me if she could play a show one night. At that moment, our trajectory changed. We became known as the place for singers/songwriters to play. A listening room that supported musicians and artists. I am still motivated by the passion I see in each artist and giving their voices a place to shine. There is also nothing better than a quality cup of coffee, and making sure we are competitive in the market and sourcing the best beans and roasts is still something I love.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Making it 20 years and still standing strong. We have seen recessions and pandemics, but our customers keep coming back, and we are beyond thankful for the community that we have created.

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

Operating at 100% all the time. I give myself fully to the cafe and want my employees, customers, and musicians to feel supported at all times. It can be taxing and exhausting - but worth every second.

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

  1. Give it 150%. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. The amount of work you put in shows up in the end.
  2. Hire the right people. Everything else comes second. Your team is the face of your business, and they are your front line and direct contact for your customers. They need to be on your team, have your back, and know how to represent your brand at all times.
  3. Listen to your customers. They are the reason for your success and the people who will support you again and again. Success comes from the small conversations you have with them and your ability to listen to their wants and cater to their needs.

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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