Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Summer Badawi, owner of The DSRT Company, located in Hamilton, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is The DSRT Company - a small-batch chocolate business that brings imaginative dessert flavours to life in chocolate bar form! Spoiler alert: we are famous for our GIANT beautiful, filled chocolate bars in dreamy flavours like lemon raspberry pie, chocolate hazelnut, and s'mores (to name a few). My customers are, I think, a lot like me! Sarcastic, thoughtful - and really interested in how things are made and that they are of great quality with a meaningful story.
Tell us about yourself
While recovering from anorexia after finishing a graduate degree, I started a food blog about baking healthy recipes. That started my baking business, The Perfect Bite Bake Shoppe, which I ran for six years. Last year after posting some viral content about my chocolate bars, I decided to switch gears and fully focus on chocolate and confections as a business because I felt that is where I could best express myself and connect with people. I am motivated every day by the amazing people in my life who push me to keep innovating and sharing what I do. I have no business without people, and I am grateful for that every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as of this moment is moving my home-based business to a physical location outside my home! It has been such a tumultuous journey, but I finally feel like I am making the right moves to growing my business and being able to reach more people.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me is finding time for myself and the people I care about. If I don't put an end to tasks, I really could work 18 hour days non-stop, and I lose all sense of balance at that point. Relationship maintenance is really difficult!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be authentic and as much as possible uniquely you. In your niche, there are going to be lots of similar ideas; try and stand out, and don't be AFRAID to do that!
- Be an expert. It is so appealing to do so many things, but when you focus on your area of expertise, you bring a high level of skill and quality that is lost on those who do too much.
- Don't compare yourself to others. Easier said than done, but everyone is at a different stage in their journey. Don't get caught up that you aren't 'there' yet, and let that prevent you from enjoying the stage your business is at right now.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I just want to highlight that running a business is a journey. Just like life, you can't look at the end goal and assume you have 'made it' and the work ends. There is always something new to learn and work to do, so you may as well enjoy the ride; the journey is the whole thing!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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