Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lane Smith, founder of Sunshine Brewing Company, located in Lake Mills, WI, USA.

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

We are a small craft brewery, taproom, and taqueria. We specialize in Belgian-inspired beers and Southern California-style Mexican food.

Tell us about yourself

I have always been a fan of Belgian beers, and when I moved to Wisconsin from San Diego, I couldn't really find any on the shelves at the stores. I owned a national business-business company at the time. I was looking to do something more local that could involve my children. When I sold that business, I decided to start a brewery with a vision of becoming known for our Belgian beers and giving Wisconsinites a little Sunshine from San Diego. Seeing community members bring their families in and enjoying our beers and foods is what keeps me going. I love to see the smiles and the good times that we help create.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think bringing people from different backgrounds together and giving them a comfortable place to just be who they are and enjoy some time with friends is our single biggest accomplishment to date.

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

Maintaining a consistent product and experience for our customers is always a challenge. When a customer comes back in again after their first experience, it is important that the reason they are coming back is still there.

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

Hire great people; whenever you meet someone that you know you want on your team, hire them even if you don't yet know what they will do. Build out a worst case and best case business plan; if the worst case won't get you through the 1st five years, then don't do it. If you are starting a business in a crowded market, make sure that you have a niche that customers are going to be attracted to, be different, and stand out.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Owning a business is a rewarding experience, from seeing the smile on customers' faces to watching your employees and their families grow. Find your passion and go for it, all in with a clear intention for success and a focus on happiness.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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