Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cara Carter, Owner of Sunshine Caramel Company, located in Cincinnati, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My name is Cara Carter, and I am so proud to be the owner and confectioner for Sunshine Caramel Company. Sunshine Caramel Company is an artisan gourmet caramel company creating the world's finest caramels. I take great pride in producing fresh candy using no additives or preservatives. Bringing a taste experience from fresh candy to people everywhere makes my heart happy. We cook in small batches, and each batch is hand cut and wrapped. Our caramels offer a nostalgic taste that melts in your mouth. Even the people who claim not to like caramels love our caramels. Our caramels are gluten-free. We love sharing our caramels with people and watching the expression on their faces when they try them. Seeing the huge smiles on their faces makes this labor of love worth it! Our customers come from all over and are of all ages. We also specialize in corporate gifting. These caramels bring joy and happiness to those who eat them; they need to be shared with the world!
Tell us about yourself
In 2016 I was working as a sales rep for a home health company and still raising my so independently when I was given the opportunity to buy the company. I have always had a passion for cooking and love how much food brings people together. When I first started with the caramels, it was a side hustle. I was working a full-time sales job and just getting through the day-to-day. Now knowing that the future is in my hands motivates me every day. The possibilities are endless with the caramels, and it's up to me to share them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, one of the biggest accomplishments I have had is to have the courage to leave my full-time job and follow my dream of working for my company full-time. It was scary to take the leap, not knowing what the future would hold, but so far, it has been the best decision I have ever made. There are many times when I ask myself, "Is this really my life." I love getting up every day, learning new things, and meeting new people. This is the first time I have owned my own business, and there has been a lot to learn. It is a wonderful work in progress. Growing the business from the ground up has been so cool. Building a website, creating social media accounts, entering the farmer market circuit, growing the retail business, and gaining brand recognition.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is the fear of the unknown. The business's future is in my hands. It can be very scary not knowing if/what orders will be coming in. Learning how to grow and scale, and finding new sales outlets and customers. This is a new world to me, so navigating through things and surrounding myself with great mentors has been tremendously helpful.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Life is short; follow your dreams. Have the courage to make challenging decisions. Do not be afraid to ask for help!
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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