Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Olivia Jewer, Owner of Penny’s, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

I own a bar named Penny’s. It’s very much a friendly local that has inspired a community in Bloordale Village. My customers are locals from every walk of life.

Tell us about yourself

I have always been an industry person. In fact, my first job was filling cups with pops for my grandma at her beach concession stand; I was 8. I started working in bars at 17 and really never wanted to do anything else. In 2013 I realized that if I wanted to open up my own, it needed to be now by May of 2014, Penny’s opened. My customers and community keep me open and motivated.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Creating a family and a safe space for so many people in the neighborhood.

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

The paperwork!!! As well as learning to ask for help.

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

  1. Believe in your product.
  2. Hire an accountant or bookkeeper.
  3. Surround yourself with people you trust.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Have fun with it; life is too short!

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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