Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Geordie Wilson, Owner of San Vito Coffee House, located in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a coffee house in St. James (West part of Winnipeg). We serve our own Costa Rican Coffee, all meat for our store is cooked in-house daily, we make our own soups from scratch, and our chocolate chip cookies are better than the ones Grandma used to make. We have plenty of other baked goods, handmade milkshakes, and numerous blended drinks. We cater city-wide for meetings, and we cater to a number of regional airlines.
Tell us about yourself
I used to own some Subway restaurants, and I began selling Costa Rican Coffee (the closest city to beans) in San Vito, Costa Rica. A friend of mine was living in Costa Rica at the time, and we began importing and selling coffee. People sold our coffee as a fundraiser (bands, sports teams, etc.). We also sold it to the St. Norbert Farmers Market; people really loved the coffee, and with my background with Subway, I knew I could integrate a great food menu, which we did. I sold the Subways and focused on San Vito.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The first 7-8 years were tough, then COVID hit, and we had to figure out a way to survive. I started a segment called Kitchen Karaoke, where I would take hit songs and change the words to promote our store. We did over 150 songs; people loved them (I am a terrible singer; it was just fun and entertaining). This started to drive business; we also delivered free city-wide, and I dropped off menus at over 20,000 homes in the area. I approached local airlines, and things improved during COVID. We have continued to have solid growth for the past 4 years.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
You never have enough time to get all the things you want to get done, and your day is never over.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a service or product you believe in.
- Always believe in yourself no matter what.
- You have a choice daily to be happy or not. Always choose to be happy! It makes others feel good and yourself.
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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