Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hoda Paripoush, Founder & Creative Director of Sloane Tea Company, located in Toronto, Canada.

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

Sloane Tea is a boutique, direct-trade tea company that specializes in the import of some of the finest artisan teas and ingredients, blending them locally in small batches with a focus on freshness and purity. Our goal is to make tea an everyday luxury and elevate it into a simple and accessible experience. We strive to do this for our wholesale food-service partners such as hotels, restaurants, and cafes, as well as our loyal customers. They purchase the teas to enjoy at home from our website and retail partners.

Tell us about yourself

The ritual of tea has always been a part of my day. Since childhood, tea has been the first beverage of the day and the last beverage of the night for me. Just a single sip of it instantly instills a sense of calm and brings me great comfort. When I left my naturopathic studies to pursue the world of tea, I knew that I wanted to recreate the feeling of comfort that tea provided me for others. Tea is so much more than a beverage. It's about connectivity and making even the simplest of moments special. I can confidently say that what started out as a personal journey has transformed into a calling - one where I am constantly inspired to create, improve and innovate. Our family of tea farmers is our strength, and we consider Sloane a platform where we give voice to the story of each tea.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner, you learn to celebrate the little wins just as much as the big ones. As incredible as it feels to walk into a hotel, restaurant, or even board an airline or train and see your tea, nothing quite compares to the satisfaction of the truly beautiful relationships you build along the way. Some of my nearest and dearest are artisans, chefs, and co-workers that I have come to know through working with them and feel very grateful to work in such a lively industry bursting with talent. I am truly proud of the TEAm we have built throughout our journey.

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

There are so many challenges that come with the territory, but I can say that being an artist and a business owner has often proven to be my greatest challenge and bottleneck. I say this because, as an artist, I strive for perfection and have a passion for creativity. As a business owner, however, you sometimes need the artist to take a back seat for the sake of the business. Decisions often have to be made that conflict with the artist in me but are necessary for the health and future of the business.

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

  1. Do your research and due diligence. As great as being passionate about an idea, these ideas do not always translate well into viable businesses. Sometimes they need to be tweaked, and sometimes they need to be reimagined altogether.
  2. Find a mentor, coach, or someone that is already successful in their chosen field that you can check in with, and that will help to keep you accountable for goals you set.
  3. Go forward like you know it will succeed and be willing to work harder than you have ever worked in your life. The path can be grueling, but nothing quite compares to the feeling of having earned your place.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

This quote by Eric Thomas has always inspired me and honestly describes the dual nature of being an entrepreneur: "If you want to shine bright like a diamond, you need to get cut like a diamond."

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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