Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jason Miller, COO of Peggy Jean's Pies, located in Columbia, MO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Peggy Jean's Pies is a from-scratch artisan pie bakery located in Columbia, Missouri. We offer over 30 flavors of pie made fresh daily! Our customers appreciate quality products that are made by people rather than machines. They enjoy our products because they are made fresh and without preservatives.
Tell us about yourself
My career has been primarily in the financial and health industries, leading the human resources divisions. The family (started by my wife and her mother) started the business nearly nine years ago, and my role until two years ago had been "behind the scenes," leading the HR functions as well as the technology and operational systems. After leading my executive position leading as HR for a large health system a couple of years ago, I joined the family business full-time so we could continue to grow the store. Now, we have two stores and are working on the third. I am motivated to continue to grow Peggy Jean's Pies as it's a phenomenal feeling to have our customers tell us how our great products make them happy and bring back such fond memories.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Growing our business by opening a second location, as well as the implementation of technology to streamline internal processes and make it easier for our customers to order and do business with us, has been so rewarding to me. Finding new and better ways to engage and empower our customers to get what they want when they want it has been fun!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
With all the rewarding aspects of owning your own business come the stressful ones. I would say that the stress of the unknown and uncertainty is one that I still have to wrangle. From inclement weather to squelching heat, so many things impact sales, and we have no control over them.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Do your research. Research the market and the demands in the market. Look at like competitors but also similar competitors so that you can identify what you can offer that others cannot. In addition, put a lot of effort into not only researching the volume of product you can sell but how much it is going to cost to sell that product (overhead, variable expenses, fixed expenses, etc.). New business owners should spend a good deal of time researching all the expenses related to business ownership.
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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