Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Robert Vasvary, Founder of Tennessee Bob's Hot Sauce Co., located in Boca Raton, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Tennessee Bob's Hot Sauce Company and the Pepper People of Rancho Del Fuego. I make hot sauce, and I write stories about my pepper people. Each sauce has a character. I have customers from ten years old and up. My sauces are more about flavor than heat. The slogan is "Taste the Spice of Life."
Tell us about yourself
My nickname is Tennessee Bob, and I love making sauces. Back in 2015, when we first moved to Boca Raton, Florida, I started growing peppers in my garden. I first made salsas and then moved on to creating new hot sauce recipes. Each one of these flavors I created myself (all fifteen). It's a labor of love! Being a writer, I couldn't help but create characters to go with each flavor. My dream is to retire as a writer, get my ranch and keep the stories coming. In the meantime, I intend to make my signature sauce, Hillbilly Hot Sauce, a household name. One day, I hope to give exclusive licensing to a big company to help make my sauces internationally known, like Frank's hot sauce and let them drive that ship, metaphorically speaking. I am working on my Hillbilly Hot Wing sauce next. Here I come, Frank! I have all my intellectual property trademarked and copyrighted. I call myself the Boca Hillbilly, the east coast version of the Beverly Hillbillies. "Hillbilly Wow!" is my slogan.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment thus far is branding and creating a product line with so much personality. I believe that "The Pepper People of Rancho Del Fuego" will serve both aspects of the business: the food products and the stories. The Pepper People bring so much fun, antics, and "The Spice of Life."
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Time management. So far, the hardest thing in being a business owner is setting daily goals while keeping focused on continually growing the business-the big picture. While maintaining a full-time Electrical Engineering job, having a family, and raising my son, effective time management is the biggest challenge with owning my business. It has become more than just a side hustle at this point. The train has left the station and is gaining speed! Finding good, hardworking, trustworthy, and UPBEAT people to help is the solution. As it stands now, we are a business of three. My wife, son, and I work the fresh markets every Saturday. We are working on hiring and getting some help. We are at that stage in the game now.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Create a business plan and a BRAND. Ask yourself what are you doing and where do you want to go?
- Jump right in and start small, but at least get your feet wet! You have to start somewhere, but it will be easier to start with a well-thought-out business plan (see item 1).
- Make it fun and exciting! Market that sensation you create!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
True entrepreneurial spirit is fun and exciting, but there are days when you may ask yourself, is it worth it? All I can say is at the end of the day; it is all yours! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Entrepreneurs are the ultimate dreamers, just like artists! They dream up a business, BUT it requires much hard work and time to build it into a real, living, breathing, successful business. Finally, I would like to add branding is key. Target your market well, and then go get them. Sharing is caring!
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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