Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jon Ramos, co-owner of The Cookie Countess, located in Warwick, RI, USA.

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

The Cookie Countess designs, curates, and sells innovative tools and ingredients used to decorate sugar cookies and other sugary treats. Our easy-to-navigate website allows cookie decorators far and wide to purchase these hard-to-find products easily. A wide selection, competitive prices, fast shipping, and stellar customer service make The Cookie Countess the leading supplier for the amazing cookie decorating community

Tell us about yourself

My amazing wife, Hillary, who is The Cookie Countess started the business back in 2012, but it wasn't until 2015 that I joined her full time to help run it. I have a background in sales and sales management and had no real interest in the cookie-making business, but I saw an opportunity to help her grow it, so I made the decision to leave my career behind and join the wonderful cookie world. It was initially just the 2 of us at our dining room table packing and shipping cookie tools we designed to a small but growing group of customers that we obtained purely through social media. Although I wouldn't consider myself a "Cookier," I have an engineering mind which has enabled me to develop and create many of our innovative products, including, The precision Rolling Pin, the Magic Stencil Screen, and the soon-to-be-launched Royal Max Airbrush Machine. I love being an entrepreneur and taking risks needed to grow the company.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

By far, my biggest accomplishment has been creating a positive work culture with happy employees that enjoy coming in every day.

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

One of the hardest things for me is turning my brain off. Even when I'm not working, it's difficult for me to not think about making things better, faster, more efficient. With that said, compared to most business owners, I have a very good work/life balance, but sometimes I have to force myself not to think about work. I've resorted to locking my phone in a safe on multiple occasions, lol.

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

  1. Don't get into the restaurant business. That has to be one of the most difficult of all small businesses to run and operate successfully. What I do is a piece of cake in comparison. My hats off to all of them.
  2. Don't get into massive debt to start a small business. It's much less risky to do something you can grow organically and only take the bigger risks once you have concrete data that supports the investment.
  3. You can't do it all yourself. As the business grows, you need to hire people before you desperately need them. Too many business owners think it's an expense they can't afford but for any growing business having the right amount of people is critical.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We only get one life, and unless you are able to give up some control to your employees, you will forever be a slave to the business and unable to ever go on vacation. All the money in the world doesn't matter if you can't enjoy it. Business owners' work/life balance is so important. If you work 18 hours a day, six days a week, eventually you'll become a miserable boss. That bad energy will rub off on your employees and then onto your customers. If you hire smart people, train them well and give them more and more responsibility, you will eventually be able to leave the business and spend critical recharge time with friends and family. Some of the best business ideas I've ever had came to me while I was sitting on a beach sipping a Piña colada.

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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