Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cassie Tolman, owner of Pomegranate Cafe, located in Phoenix, AZ, USA.

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

Pomegranate Cafe is a mother-daughter-owned organic, vegetarian café in Ahwatukee. Our mission is to make it easy for you to eat healthily, live sustainably, and connect with the local community through real food. Revitalizing food & pure flavors are at the heart of what we do. We make everything from scratch (from mouth-watering lattes steamed with hand-crafted syrups & POM Milk to wholesome breads, flavorful bowls, vibrant salads, seasonal chef specials, fresh juices, and decadent cakes) with the highest quality, organic, wholesome ingredients.

Pomegranate Cafe values the symbiotic relationship we share with the earth and recognizes the local community as our livelihood. We support small, local farmers and artisans who share our commitment to providing exceptional products with ecologically responsible methods.

Tell us about yourself

I was blessed to grow up in a family that valued real food. My grandmother was a professional ballerina, and she passed on a passion for healthy living and eating to my mom, who raised five children on healthy, wholesome, homemade, plant-based meals. I have been a vegetarian since I was twelve and have always had a strong desire to nourish my community and care for our earth. I am a graduate of the Culinary Nutrition Certificate Program at The Natural Gourmet Institute, NYC. My culinary adventures stretch from preparing private meals for individuals, children, and communities to traditional restaurants. I am creative at heart - I love bringing big visions to life through playful collaboration and connecting the community through food.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is staying true to our mission and values even when life is challenging. My mom and I started Pomegranate Cafe with the intention to change our little corner of the world, and I think we really are doing this every day!

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

Owning a restaurant is a big responsibility. Even when I am not physically at the cafe, I am carrying it with me. We have 25 employees, and I want them to be taken care of and enjoy their work. I care deeply about our community and want to provide a positive, valuable experience. I did not open Pomegranate with a strong business background, so I have learned almost everything the hard way! Being a business owner means you are highly visible in your community - that can feel vulnerable and scary. When I make a mistake, it is often public. It is important to have self-compassion and begin each day with a new commitment to follow my heart.

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

  1. Surround yourself with good people who are passionate about your mission.
  2. Listen to your intuition and stay connected to your heart. If something doesn't feel right, investigate and pay attention! Your heart will also tell you when you are on the right path and should stay true to your course even during stormy times.
  3. Nurture self-compassion, practice self-forgiveness as you go through growing pains and difficult learning experiences, and create daily self-care rituals.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I love reading about other heart-centered entrepreneurs and their journeys! Thank you for sharing our stories!

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.