Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Johnathan Lyman, Founder of Seaplane Coffee, located in Seattle, WA, USA.

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

Seaplane Coffee is an Internet-exclusive micro-roaster in the Seattle area. As Your Local Internet Coffee Roaster, Seaplane Coffee strives to fulfill only one goal: to create delicious coffee and make it available online at a fair price.

Tell us about yourself

I've always enjoyed a good cup of coffee, but when the pandemic stuffed us all in our homes, I felt like the options I had around me were lacking. Ordering coffee online from other roasters took way too long–sometimes weeks! –and I thought I could do better. Seaplane Coffee was born.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Creating a business that not only sells a product but retains repeat customers. We have a devout following that I've grown to appreciate more than I could ever have known.

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

There's a lot to think about when creating a product. Looking back on everything I did and spent money on, I wish I had stuck with the first but more expensive plan. In hindsight, I probably would have spent less over time choosing to do things "right" the first time rather than continuing to iterate, replace, and spend.

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

  1. All the administrative stuff is essential but shouldn't be deal breakers. Don't let those tasks consume your world.
  2. You might not like it, but I think everyone should experience doing their business taxes at least once. It makes determining if hiring a professional is a good move that much easier.
  3. Your brand and messaging are essential. I found early success because I focused on a hyper-local marketing campaign. People jumped on board simply because it was new, local, and interesting.

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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