3 min read

Non-classic Classic Dutch Tradition - Stroop Club

I keep being motivated because we created two questions for our entire business process: Who can we help with what we need in our business now, and how can we take that step with minimal impact on our planet.
Non-classic Classic Dutch Tradition - Stroop Club

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chantal Piet, founder of Stroop Club LLC., located in Austin, TX, USA.

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

I run Stroop Club, a small business based in Austin, TX making delicious gooey Dutch stroopwafels and coffee syrups. Stroop is the Dutch word for syrup or caramel, and stroopwafels are caramel cookies. We're all about it! We're relaunching our improved line to be all organic and plant-based in the next two months. Basically, anyone who loves treats, who has a curiosity about other cultures and snacks, and who cares about our planet is our audience. Fortunately, that's the majority of people in general!

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in The Netherlands and grew up with stroopwafels; they're basically our National Cookie! When I moved to the USA end of 2015, I figured they would be the perfect way to cross our cultural and language barriers and to make friends. And it worked; you can always bribe people into being friends with fresh stroopwafels! As I've been an avid scuba diver for years, we've seen the amount of trash in our oceans increase and the amount of life decrease. So if I wanted to build a business, I had to do it the right way!

I keep being motivated because we created two questions for our entire business process: Who can we help with what we need in our business now, and how can we take that step with minimal impact on our planet.

I can't change the entire world, but I can make small differences. These questions mostly make us work with women and minority-owned companies and make us the first cookie company in the US to use Omni-degradable wrappers and 100% post-consumer recycled cart board.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I created a lifestyle business... It's actually super awesome to have created something that I and my husband and one other employee with her kid can actually make a living off. We built Stroop Club in such a way that we don't have to be in a certain location ourselves and can therefore travel and work from anywhere!

To build something guilt-free. We don't want to add to the trash pile in the world, not deplete resources we don't need or leave a big eco-footprint. Even as small as we are, we found ways to use materials and source ingredients in the most sustainable ways. If the big corporates would only follow our lead ;)

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

I think the hardest thing is that it never stops... It's like having a child; when it's not asking attention directly, it will go on and on and on and on in your head, in your dreams, under the shower... Creating a balance and still being you as an individual, friend, or partner and not completely identifying yourself with your business can be a real struggle! Especially in the first years (if you're bootstrapping), there's no one to take over, which makes it even harder to step aside. But seriously, let go once in a while, and it at least makes you a happier person! The other hard thing is our goal of being carbon neutral. We're small, and any better environmental alternative to anything is expensive and comes with big initial investments. Sometimes it's not possible, and then I almost want to give up, but one wise man one day told me that his biggest lesson is to stay in business. So that's what I do.

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

  1. Expect a long run; success (usually) doesn't come overnight.
  2. Create realistic smart goals and celebrate them when you achieve them!
  3. Be good for the planet and people along the way; you can create the change yourself. <3

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Just don't give up, but … It's completely ok to stop working after 9 pm ;)

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://www.stroopclub.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stroopclub
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stroopclub/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chantalpiet/

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email community@subkit.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.