Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Omar Khartabil, founder and operator of Roasted Coffee Roastery, located in Bedford, NS, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Roasted Coffee sells uniquely blended coffee blends that are not traditionally consumed in North America, with some exceptions. We blend Turkish and Arabic Coffee that reflects the middle eastern culture of coffee brewing and drinking culture. The two blends have distinct spices in them that takes the coffee taste to a different level.
Both blends are totally opposites and are the extreme spectrum of the grinding profile. Turkish is extremely fine, and Arabic Coffee is a coarse grind. Both blends are brewed in a unique way and served in small espresso-like coffee cups.
Roasted Coffee is on a mission to spread awareness about these two interesting and distinctively flavorful blends and to share this unique experience with coffee lovers around the world and specifically in Canada & USA.
Tell us about yourself
Who does not love coffee? Well, there are exceptions, but coffee is a universal language, and coffee brings people together. It is one great way to socialize and to spend time with your friends, family, and neighbors.
Since moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada 15 years ago from Dubai! Yes, from Dubai! My wife and I have always wanted to start our own business. We ended up opening a coffee shop and chocolate shop in downtown Halifax (Choco Cafe). We ran the business for six wonderful years. During that time, I developed a better understanding of coffee and fell in love with coffee even more.
After shutting down the business for various reasons, the love for coffee did not go away. It was only a matter of time until I decided to go back into the coffee business but from a different perspective. It all came about during a discussion with a friend of mine, and then the light bulb came on. Why not try something different? Why not sell traditional middle eastern coffee blends and introduce them to the local market and beyond. Not too many people are aware of these unique coffee blends, and the ones who know or have tried Turkish or Arabic coffee (Turkish seems more popular, by the way)
My business is still in its early stages and is growing steadily, and customers are loving it. Five stars reviews, nothing less. Even the most sophisticated coffee drinkers who have a sophisticated taste have loved our blends way better than what they used to drink back home! What keeps me going is the wonderful feedback from my customers and their support along the way. It is not easy to run a small business nowadays with all the increased costs of goods.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Seeing my customer reviews and their appreciation for my coffee blends. This is the biggest accomplishment any business owner aspires to.
Without happy customers, there will be no business. Their satisfaction is your success!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There were too many obstacles and hardships that faced us as entrepreneurs and small business owners. Balancing your family life with your business is key yet very hard. You have to give each one of them the right amount of attention. Also, dealing with COVID and its impact on prices, supply chain, and other issues make it mentally hard for a small business owner to run the business efficiently. Still, we simply have to keep moving and do our best.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Consistency and persistence are key. Do not give up easily because there are times where you simply feel like giving up and walking away. Who said it is easy to run a small business. If it was, then everyone would be doing it.
- Patience is also a virtue and key in running a business, especially with all the current COVID impact. You have to believe in your business in your product and continue doing what you do best.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people/entrepreneurs and learn from them and seek advice whenever needed. Do not be shy to reach out. We all learn as we grow our business.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Do your market research before you start a business. It does not have to be detailed, but some thought has to be put in place before diving into the entrepreneurial world. Enjoy and learn as you grow.
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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