Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sam Mitchell, founder of roo.bru™, located in Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
roo.bru™ is a feel-good coffee alternative. Each serving is packed with a delicious blend of superfoods, antioxidants, and adaptogens that support a mild dose of caffeine. Energy from roo.bru™ comes on slow and steady and lasts all day with only positive side effects. We're inspired by the ability to make the absolute most out of each and every day. Adventure, travel, time with friends and family, and most of all - a bloody good laugh with your mates!
Tell us about yourself
As an athlete and highly motivated person, I loved feeling good. In my mid 20's, however, I found myself deep in the routine American lifestyle of work before play, and drinking coffee was imperative for me to function. However, with coffee came heaps of negative side effects. I couldn't sleep, had persistent anxiety, and my energy levels crashed every day around two in the afternoon. Something had to change. With the help of two of my best mates, we came up with an alternative that tastes as good as it makes ya feel!
The sun, surf, and good music all motivate me - but my biggest motivator by far is listening to the caffeine stories from our consumers. SO many people have wild and unhealthy relationships with caffeine, and they just can't find the right drink for them. Helping people work through these problems by providing a far healthier alternative (and hearing how great they feel) gets me fired up!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our first retail store. It happened on such a whim - I didn't think we were ready. My business partners (and best friends), Luke & Chris, told me to just go for it and see if I could pitch our product. We had only operated direct-to-consumer before. This was a really prominent health foods grocery store in our area. Somehow, the pitch went amazingly well (we didn't even have a meeting - I just walked in), and they brought our product into the store!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Communication, especially when you're working with some of your closest friends. Disagreeing on business decisions is tough, but you have to remember that everyone uses their own personal experience to recommend what they think is best for your company. Most importantly, hug each other at the end of the day - friends first, business partners second.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be ready to learn, and be ready to teach. Open-mindedness creates opportunity. And giving out advice helps cement the stuff you've learned.
- Don't get discouraged if everything doesn't go as you planned (it rarely does). Good business owners are able to adapt and overcome. Product development, marketing strategy, and so on is a long, uphill race... keep at it.
- Have fun!! It's all about the journey.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The most important thing in my eyes to starting a business is starting. So many people have great, potentially life-changing ideas. The hardest part is doing the work to get it off the ground - that's what will set you apart.
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.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.