Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kyle Wilson, Owner of Soul Chocolate, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are chocolate lovers first and foremost! But if I had to define us, I would say we are chocolate makers who place a whole lot of priority on sourcing the best ingredients for our chocolate in a transparent and fair way.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Kyle, and I am one of the owners of Soul Chocolate. It was started by my partner Katie, and I jumped in shortly thereafter. I got my start in the world of coffee - learning about not just how to make coffee but how the raw product is grown, sourced, roasted, and sold.
The coffee world shares a lot of similarities with chocolate (or cacao, the main ingredient in our chocolate), so it was an easy switch to the chocolate world. I am motivated daily by my partner Katie. She just loves what she does. I find myself motivated by the satisfaction of our chocolate-loving customers as well. That really keeps the fire burning.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would say being able to have non-chocolate lovers come over to the dark side of chocolate and savour in the single-origin bars we sell. That is always such a good feeling!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Measuring myself or the business itself to others. This is such a common thread throughout life and one I am working to separate myself from. Katie is really great at it, but it is more of a challenge for me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Dip your toe in the world of running your own business, even if it starts off as tiny - maybe an hour a week or something. But just try. I have found once you get into it, the veil is lifted, and it doesn't seem as hard as you have made it out to be.
- Stay true to your vision. It can be tempting, especially if you are a lean startup (like ourselves), to sacrifice ingredients, materials, or whatever else it may be to earn a little more. But it's not worth it, one bit.
- Get into something you really enjoy or love. But if it doesn't feel right, don't feel any shame in changing course.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you to anyone who has supported us by coming into our shop, visiting our website, or even the friendly wave as you walk by our store. It all helps keep us going with a smile on our faces!
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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