Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Terpstra, Co-Owner of Alimentari Italian Grocery and Russell's Butcher & Deli, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is a specialty Italian grocery store and a specialty butcher shop. Most of our customers are locals to the Roncesvalles neighbourhood.
Tell us about yourself
My husband/business partner and I have always worked in restaurants and hospitality and always felt that quality and service were compromised. We wanted to bring our experiences living in Europe - where quality and service standards are typically higher - to Toronto. We pride ourselves in providing a supportive and encouraging environment for our staff which translates into delicious products and excellent customer service.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Always being able to pay the bills on time!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The big decisions fall on you to make and steer your staff in a direction that allows for success. They need direction and look to you to provide it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Never stop scrutinizing your business for ways to make it better. It is a never-ending process.
- Try to find balance in your life when you can, as it is difficult to see the big picture when you are stuck in the nitty-gritty of day-to-day operations. Visit other businesses like yours to take a "break" while still "working."
- You cannot do it all on your own. Seek out the resources you need in order to do everything as best as can be done. Look for staff that has strengths that are your weaknesses. Hire a great accountant who cares about your success. Look to a human resource professional to be sure your business complies with and supports its employees. Find a mentor in the same industry. You need these people!
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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