Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marc D. Wicks, owner, and operator of Whiskey Six BBQ, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Whiskey Six is an upscale BBQ restaurant with a busy catering & events division. The focus is on providing the highest quality locally sourced ingredients from small farms and ranches. W6BBQ is the only smokehouse in Vancouver to pour an exclusive East Van beer list and offer only BC spirits.
Tell us about yourself
I have been passionate about the food and beverage business for over 25 years. I have owned and operated a variety of stylized businesses from fine casual dining, bar/nightclub, cafe, and catering. With this deep experience and excited to take my "west coast bbq" to a high level of service. I want each of the restaurant and catering guests to have a memorable experience. After everything that I have had success with, I chose to open a BBQ spot when I moved to Vancouver because I saw a demand for it. I have eaten BBQ all around the US and love it. It is the ultimate comfort food, and everyone of all ages should enjoy it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment to this date is to have survived and thrived thru this pandemic so far in a city like Vancouver. Here we have a progressive food scene and food and drink places open and close fast. W6BBQ has stood the test of time so far since opening in 2015. Since March 2020, there has been so much uncertainty, but with a lot of hard work and creativity, I have pivoted and found success which has made me stronger and more determined.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the most difficult things that comes with being a business owner is finding work/life balance. I work an average of 110 hours a week so finding time to be with my wife and kids is a creative process. Currently, the food and beverage industry is facing a staff shortage crisis. I am hoping that as life returns to a new normal that I can hire the support that I need to have more personal time and move forward with expanding the companies in 2022.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I have my pieces of advice to offer to start, run and grow a business usually, but during this pandemic, it is much different. We are in uncertain times, and restrictions can change suddenly. My advice is to be able to adapt, be smart with money and creative spending and try not to stress over situations that are uncontrollable.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I would love to say that it is important to be grateful to the vendors and customers that have shown support. Never take anything for granted. And most of all, work hard and never give up. If you are not passionate about your business, then maybe it is not for you.
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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