Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephen Paprocki, founder of Texas Black Gold Garlic, located in San Antonio, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a fermenting garlic company that sources from 42 contracted farms in the US, and 18 of them are in Texas. Our customers are everyday home cooks, grillers, chefs, retail stores, and restaurants. We support local businesses and help our fellow chefs and community any way we can. The company donates 5 percent of all proceeds generated by the sale of Black Garlic to the Chef Cooperatives initiative, a group of chefs who host and create quarterly farm-to-table dinners to benefit local Texas farmers – one farm at a time.
Tell us about yourself
I was already making black garlic at a corporate dining facility and using it as an ingredient. I was also selling it to the associates that were working there and asked the owner for any words of wisdom for advice for a hopeful young entrepreneur. He said, find a way to sell the product back to the company you work for. He said I should call the production companies where I was buying produce from and see if they would buy Black Garlic from me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Year after year, we are still growing but still small enough for an owner to pick up the phone and talk to customers but big enough to be the #1 Black Garlic company in America.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Employee retention and Sourcing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Always have a side hustle.
- Know that as a food company, you will burn money until you sell.
- Always celebrate your successes even if you are alone.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
A team always wins, and an individual always fails. Take care of your team!
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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