Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Charlotte Langley, chef and co-founder of Scout, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are Scout Canning, North America's most trusted seafood brand. We do this by supporting local fishing communities, protecting our oceans, and reducing food waste throughout our supply chain. We make delicious, nutritious, and responsible tinned fish. Founded by Chef Charlotte Langley, Ocean Steward and MSC Chef Ambassador.
Tell us about yourself
It was really all about timing and a discovery moment for myself, both personally and professionally. I had been struggling to find my place in the hospitality space of Toronto and had worked at quite a few locations that just didn't feel right for me or my career at the time. I have always been a highly passionate and creative individual and love sharing that with others. I am a true extrovert over here. I wanted to find a way to share my love of food and growth with others, and honestly, maybe a restaurant was a great place to start, and I was hungry for growth. With that in mind, I started thinking about what I could create that could go home with you to enjoy that maintained its integrity and quality and spoke to the values that I hold strong.
Ethical and Responsible Sourcing.
Thoughtfulness, Deliciousness, and Nutritiousness.
Community, Collaborations, Connections.
Since I started cooking, there were many trends with mason jars and the like, and I was not interested in packaging anything in single-use plastic. Tins presented themselves as an environmental option with a great shelf life.
The canning machine, I actually found, not in an attic ( I still need to fix this on our site because if anyone reads this and knows, the equipment is 500lbs and who in their right mind would put that in an attic?!) It was in a warehouse of a hobbyist machinist who had the canning machine passed down through his family. He had taken it apart to put it on a hydraulic lift to seal aluminum rings on tubes for shipping posters! I found it on Kijiji and went to check it out, and I was immediately inspired by it. After he had pulled out the original table from the farthest corner of his warehouse, which was full to the brim of all sorts of bits, I purchased it on the spot for $200 CA. Asked a friend with an SUV and wrangled it to my door. Scout was born. In part 2, I'll talk about finding cans...
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Never giving up on my dream, passion, and opening the doors on Scout in 2020 of all years.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are many challenges, and my primary one today is access to funding and financial resources.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Set boundaries.
- Rest as much as you can.
- Practice empathy.
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 email@example.com; 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.