Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rebecca Titchenal, co-owner of West Virginia Fruit and Berry, located in Bridgeport, WV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We offer a line of fruit-based products indigenous to growth in the Appalachian region, including fruit preserves, fruit wines, and spirits. We are currently wholesale to distributors and retail stores in 7 states, as well as offer mail orders for direct-to-consumer shipping.
Tell us about yourself
My husband and I were born and raised in West Virginia and left the state early in life to pursue opportunities. We both eventually found our way back to the state to live, and our paths crossed during our careers. Bob's dream was to own a farm and grow berries. So we did. We wanted to promote West Virginia agriculture and contribute to helping West Virginia's economy.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment would be providing products that promote our home state and that everyone in the region can be proud of. This is why we do what we do.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Time management. Yes, it's great owning your own business. But finding time to take off when you have to ensure a business is running seven days a week is extremely difficult.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have an escape plan. Most businesses fail. And you have to be a realist. You have to be prepared to go broke chasing your dreams.
- Have an end vision for your finished product/business, and work towards that vision every day.
- Have a pool of professionals that you can reach out to for help. Know all your resources and laws and ensure you keep your licenses up to date and current.
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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