Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Monique Holtkamp, Owner of Sweets and Treats, located in Iowa City, IA, USA.

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

My business is a candy and chocolate shop. We specialize in amazing treats from all over the world. Our customers are locals, college students, and those back visiting. They love treats and are looking for a fun experience.

Tell us about yourself

Most of my childhood was spent in pursuit of sugar in one form or another. As a kid, I'd bake treats and seek out every candy counter I could find. Ok, maybe as an adult, too. I'm also a REALTOR, and I saw a favorite candy shop of mine was for sale, I HAD to have it. I grew up with a small business in my family and helped with it. I'm motivated because every day, I see how much our guests love the shop. I love that everyone who walks through my door is having a better day instantly. The line "kid in a candy store," which I hear a lot is really a thing. When I have a down day, I go in, and very soon, I'm smiling, just listening to my guest's joy.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

In Iowa City, we have a competition based on the show Top Chef. We have won it 3 times. Also, next April will be 40 years of serving Iowa City treats.

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

Reminding people that we are here and adjusting when business slows.

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

  1. Do something you love, truly love.
  2. Have good help, and be really good to them.
  3. Meditate and have a mindfulness practice.

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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