Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cathy Cormier, founder of Rice Rice Baby, located in Toronto, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We cater to the rice pudding connoisseurs of Toronto! The people who know what good rice pudding is and expect no less. The people who see the potential of rice pudding to be fun, exciting, and playful and love to experiment with our toppings and flavours.
We make rice pudding using our family recipe, and have a deep respect for the long and laboursome process that produces that perfect cup of rice pudding. Hand-made in small batches using no preservatives or additives, Rice Rice Baby rice pudding is one you won't find anywhere else!
Tell us about yourself
We grew up always loving rice pudding, but it wasn’t until Kareem joined our family and we tried his generations-old family rice pudding recipe that we realized what rice pudding really could be. We were blown away by this Egyptian recipe and immediately felt that it was something we needed to share. We realized that rice pudding is such a versatile dessert and could work for any age, whether someone appreciates the traditional or wants to have some fun with exciting toppings and flavours. It was also such an opportunity for us to play and experiment with this traditional dessert to make it something new, fresh, and exciting.
Do you remember sitting in your kitchen as a kid and sharing that delicious dessert that was your Mom/Dad’s specialty? For us, that is really what rice pudding is: something that contains that nostalgia of a simpler time, but is still so classic and delicious. Rice pudding is one of those foods that reaches all across the world; so many cultures have their own version that is just a little bit different. It was a connection for our family and we feel that it could be a connection for others and really celebrates the diversity of cultures in Toronto. For me, food is about bringing people together, and that is the feeling we want to bring to all of our fans when they eat a cup of our rice pudding.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment is those small moments we get with customers who are absolutely crazy about our rice pudding. It's the fans that keep you feeling like you are doing something good and that motivate you to keep pushing through the challenging times.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It can be very lonely. You have to be very self-motivated and industrious because you are constantly trying to solve new problems that you have never dealt with before. On the other hand, when you do reach those goals, it is extra sweet because you know that it is something that you accomplished.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
1. PLAN! Take the time upfront to really go in and make sure you have a good business case. Things will of course change along the way, but without a clear plan, you just aren't going to achieve your goals.
2. Do something unique. People ask me all the time, oh how did you get into this or that retailer? In my case it's just fairly simple - they didn't have anything like our product. When you differentiate yourself, you take a lot of the work out of the selling part.
3. DON'T COMPARE! Being an entrepreneur means flying by the seat of your pants and making stuff up as you go, while curating a beautiful image to share with your customers. Despite knowing this, it is still so hard not to look at other's images from the outside and think "why can't I be like that". You have no idea what is happening behind the scenes of their business, so focus on yourself and measure yourself against your goals. Doing anything else is a recipe for making yourself crazy!
Anything else you'd like to share?
Being an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding things you can do. I honestly have learned more in the past few years than I did in all of my years at school. I don't know what the future holds for Rice Rice Baby, but no matter what, I can always be proud of our amazing accomplishments and all of the lessons we have learned along the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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