Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ryan Moy, founder of Rollin' Fresh, located in Portland, OR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a local fast-casual chain founded in Portland, OR, that features Sushi Burritos, Poke' Bowls, and Poke' Salads.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Ryan Moy, and I am the founder of Rollin' Fresh. I have held every position in the restaurant industry, starting from bussing tables to a server, bartender, assistant manager, executive chef, GM, then operations manager. I went to school for accounting, and after I graduated, I found out that I didn't want to be stuck behind a desk all day in bookkeeping. By that time, I was also burnt out from serving and bartending. Then I fell into restaurant management. This is where I fell in love with the business.
I was able to utilize my skills in accounting while in a fast-paced environment of controlling numbers through the restaurant. It was so interesting to me, and from then on, I just kept trying to learn the ins and outs of running a restaurant as a business. I have always been drawn to sushi, even as 14 year old helping my Uncle cater sushi to private parties on the weekends. I had been making sushi for a total of 16 years before I started the business.
Even though I worked in other cuisines, I was always drawn back to sushi. This is why I started Rollin' Fresh so that I can share my passion for food and family recipes with the City I fell in love with. I wake up every day thankful and humble to get that chance to do this as my career.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is being able to open 5 locations. We were runner-up for "Best Sushi" and top 5 for "Best food cart" in the Best of Portland voting in 2019. We were on Food Network Family Food Showdown and featured in many articles on a local and national level.
All recognition is amazing to see, and I still wake up pinching myself every day because of how I started the business to where we are now.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Inflation and staffing. Dealing with the high rise of inflation as the cost of goods has more than doubled in this current market. Also, doing the best I can to make sure we are doing what's best for the staff to make them happy as possible.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be able to work a minimum of 16 hours a day, seven days a week, for the first three years.
- Have a grasp of your numbers.
- Be humble and always keep your mind open to learning from others.
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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