Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Benjamin Leszcz, Partner and co-owner of Royal Canadian Mead, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

With my old friend Mike Mills, I run a company called Royal Canadian Mead (RCM). We produce a simple, delicious alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey, which we combine with fresh-pressed juice. Mead is the world's oldest alcohol, but we're offering a modern take. We're on a mission not only to revive the reputation of the drink the Ancient Greeks called the Nectar of the Gods but also to build a beverage company that is truly regenerative. That means that the more mead we sell, the better it is for the planet.

Tell us about yourself

I started my career in journalism and then ran a design studio for a number of years. RCM is a bit of a left turn for me, but it's also a really natural fit. I've always loved food and drink (and covered it as a journalist), and I love nature. RCM brings those together and represents an amazing opportunity to share my passion with the world.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The business is young, so perhaps our biggest accomplishment is sticking to our vision and our values even when the finish line seems impossibly far away.

Also, this summer, we ran Patio Pollinator, for which we installed pollinator-friendly wildflower gardens on the patios of bars and restaurants. It wasn't just good PR for our company. It was also genuinely productive from an ecological point of view.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Not having a boss is the only way to live, I think, but sometimes it'd be easier to have someone tell me what to do! But I'm grateful to have a wonderful partner to whom I can turn when we face impossibly difficult questions.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

First, be prepared to work incredibly hard. Second, make sure you have thick skin—failure is a daily reality. Third, do it!

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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