Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Holly MacKinnon, Founder of Small Seed Bar, located in North Charleston, SC, USA.

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

Small Seed Bar is a plant-based protein bar made from wholesome ingredients. We provide the convenience of real nutrient-dense food without compromising taste or ingredients. We don't have a specific customer base; literally, anyone (and everyone) who tries them loves them and incorporates them into their life. We're for the athletes, busy moms, picky kids, entrepreneurs, health nuts, and everyone in between.

Tell us about yourself

Small Seed Bar came from the simple idea that a protein bar should nourish your body and taste good. A passion project turned business for wife-and-husband Holly and Shane MacKinnon. They saw the need for a simple, real-food protein bar that didn't taste like all the others. Holly turned to the kitchen and started experimenting with different recipes until she found the perfect one— the Cacao Brownie Bar! That's when the idea came to life. Founders realized if they struggled to find nutritious gluten-free and vegan protein bars, there must be other people out there also struggling. Holly and Shane needed something that fueled their body and brain and gave them sustained energy - Small Seed Bar is exactly that.

Our mission is to expose corruption in the food industry while educating people on the importance and ease of leading a truly healthy lifestyle.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The biggest accomplishment is creating this producing and getting it out to the masses. It's like nothing else on the market, and we continue to work on R&D to create the highest-quality protein bar around. The two comments we get most often are, "these are the first protein bars not to upset my stomach," and "these keep me full for hours." We're proud to be changing the way people view protein bars.

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

Not enough time in the day. When you are in every aspect of your business, it always feels like there just isn't enough time in the day to address all the moving parts. This changes as the business grow, and you can add team members and delegate jobs, but as a solo entrepreneur, this is the hardest part about owning and growing a business. Then there is an added layer of the pressure of time when you have a family and young kids like we do.

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

  1. It's going to take 10x more than you think - including the capital, effort, time, and energy. Keep pushing, and don't give up. No great business happens overnight!
  2. View balance on a lifelong timeline. There isn't space for balance in the first few years of business; it's full throttle all the time. Look at investing your time now so you can have the freedom you seek later.
  3. Make sure the business and mission are something you're passionate about. This will keep your drive high and make you push through difficult times.

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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