Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Clint Braidwood, Co-Owner of Saratoga Olive Oil Co., located in Saratoga Springs, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Saratoga Olive Oil Company is a family-run business specializing in the freshest Extra Virgin Olive Oils (EVOOs) and aged Balsamic Vinegars. We started off as a single Brick and Mortar shop in Saratoga Springs, NY, and we have become a nationally recognized brand.
Tell us about yourself
I began my professional career as a pharmaceutical researcher. I traveled the country and helped pharmaceutical companies bring their product through the research phases of development. When my wife and I took a trip to Maine in 2010, we came across this lovely Olive Oil shop and ended up spending more money than I ever imagined. After leaving the shop, I was motivated to open a similar retail experience in Saratoga Springs, NY. I left my lucrative pharmaceutical job and took the plunge! I haven't looked back since and have loved every minute of owning my own business. I love the concept of nurturing, changing, believing, testing, and implementing ideas and seeing them grow over time.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We were featured as one of the "Top 5 Olive Oil Stores in the World" by the Olive Oil Times. I also enjoy hearing stories of people across the country running into our brand in the most random of places.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Your decisions affect not only yourself, but they will affect the company as a whole and the livelihood of all your employees. I take this responsibility very seriously.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
With Retail ...
- Always put your business in the BEST location. Even if it costs more. Never settle on location.
- Start collecting emails early and growing your online business. Soon this will outpace your Brick and Mortar.
- It's okay if you don't know how to do something. Seek out professionals to help guide you. Do what you do best and rely on others for the things you don't do best. You can't do it alone. Soar with your strengths!
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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