Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nicole Neilson, owner of Out There Coffee, located in Cape May, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a small coffee shop serving in-house roasted organic specialty coffee, espresso, whole-food smoothies, and specialty drinks containing unique ingredients that taste great and are good for you! We specialize in gluten-free baked goods that are made in-house and taste delicious, as well as nutrient-packed whole food snack balls that don't compromise flavor. We cater to a wide variety of people and pride ourselves on having something for everyone. Ideally, we aim to encourage people to enjoy beverages and snacks that are tasty and satisfying while not compromising their overall wellbeing.
Tell us about yourself
As husband and wife, we wanted to work together and create something that helped motivate people and helped them feel good. Craig was home roasting coffee for years, and I had fallen in love with the coffee shop community while working as a barista in Oregon. It was a no-brainer! The connection and smile on people's faces and the vibrant attitude of our staff are super motivating and propel us to continue to improve. Craig's passion for roasting coffee keeps him constantly interested and always trying to evolve his product.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Maintaining consistent regular customers and staff that want to return and keep working year after year.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The reality is that you are the one that makes it happen. You must be dependable and reliable and set a good consistent example of your vision and goals. You have to wear many hats and learn about all facets of your industry, even if they don't totally interest you. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions that affect other people.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a clear mission statement going in, way more important than a formal business plan.
- Don't start a business for the money alone. You must be passionate about your mission, or your enthusiasm will run dry.
- Be open to advise but stay true to yourself; authenticity is gold, and people respect and respond to that over trends and gimmicks any day.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Don't be afraid to fail. Treat your staff as you would want to be treated, not as a part of the overhead; the more you invest in them, the more you will benefit.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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