Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tiffany Perkins, founder, and CEO of Plant Perks Inc., located in Missoula, MT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Plant Perk is on a mission to save animals and the planet one cheezy bit at a time! We create elevated dairy alternatives that taste just like the real deal! We offer vegan Spreads, Dips, Cream Cheese, and Sour Cream that are all made with almost 50% organic cashews, and the rest is simply water, probiotics, herbs, and spices!
Our customers are people who are looking to better their health, animal welfare, and the planet by choosing plant-based products over animal products! They care about what they put in their bodies and know that humans are not the only species on this planet that want to live and thrive!
Tell us about yourself
I grew up on a hobby farm in North Dakota where all of our animals were friends, not food! I knew from a young age I wanted to do something that would help to save as many animals' lives as possible.
In 2016 I attended a raw, vegan culinary school in Thailand, and it forever changed my life! We spent a few days learning how to make vegan cheese, and my teachers said mine was so good they would buy it at a store! I decided then and there that I would save up all my money for a year and then start a vegan cheese company!
In 2017 I quit my job as Vice President of Sales for a large marketing agency. I launched Plant Perks at a Farmer's Market in Missoula, Montana. Fast forward to today, and now we are sold in over 1,000 retail locations in 45 states!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is being able to have both of my siblings on the Plant Perks team! It's so fun to wake up every day and get to create the business of my dreams with both of my brothers. The three of us have always been best friends, and we refer to ourselves as the 3 Perks in a Pod.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is having the responsibility of keeping the momentum going. There are far more lows than highs when starting a food business, but if you keep your head on straight, always believe in yourself, and most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP, the tables will turn, and pretty soon, all of the lows become less and less and everything you've been working towards arrives all at once and greater than you ever imagined it to be!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a mentor who has successfully done what you want to do. Ask them every single question you have about starting your business and, most importantly, how to make it successful! When I started my company, I knew nothing about owning a food company, and I lost a lot of money and made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. If I had the kind of mentors then that I have now, I could have avoided a lot of growing pains along the way.
- Do not burn yourself out! One of my favorite quotes is, "If you don't want to burn out, stop living like you're on fire." For the first two years of my business, I was a one-man show. I was doing accounting, billing, marketing, sales, shipping, creating, and making the products all on my own. I was working all day, every day, and I came to a point where I was so burnt out I didn't want to keep going. Find really great people that you trust, hire them to be a part of your team, and then delegate, delegate, delegate!
- Always believe in yourself! It sounds super cheesy (no pun), but it's absolutely necessary in order to take an idea and turn it into a reality. Every entrepreneur doubts themselves along the way, but as long as you remember why you started and truly believed that you're not going to fail, then you've already got a winning formula for success!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you for your support. The animals and planet are sending good vibes your way!
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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