Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Iouri Philippe Paille, owner of Café Binocle, a climate positive specialty coffee roaster located in Quebec, Canada.

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

Café Binocle is a unique climate positive specialty coffee roaster. We offer fantastic carbon-neutral coffees, roasted using a futuristic, electric, zero-emission roaster, packed in compostable bags, and delivered in electric vehicles. Our clients are coffee enthusiasts that understand the environmental and human toll that can carry coffee production. They want to be part of the solution and connect deeper with the coffee they drink, without the guilt.

Tell us about yourself

I was unhappy in a career that should have been highly desirable. I had the salary, job, and standing I wanted all my youth, yet I wanted nothing to do with it as I grew into adulthood. I dropped the world of advertisement to find real purpose and create something from the ground up with my own two hands. Take risks, challenge myself, and strive to be a better human through work and all the spheres of my life. This is what makes me want to grow my business, no matter how hard it can sometimes get.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When I started Binocle, I swore I would never compromise on anything regarding our mission. There are endless opportunities to cut corners, cut costs, and cut labor when you are trying to set up a business with deep environmental and social values.

We always choose what we perceive as the right way to do things, regardless of how costly and complicated. This was a psychological test, and it makes me incredibly proud to have never given in. This is what motivates me to go to work, to grow the business, and to go to bed every night knowing I'm giving everything I got to fight a problem and be actively part of its solution.

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

The insane amount of workload. I am the sole owner of Café Binocle, and this means being a head roaster, an accountant, a sales rep, a packer, a cleaner, a content creator, and a social media manager. Spreading out your energy can be tiring. I highly value my mental health and try to draw a line to make sure I stay sane, socially active, and overall happy. Balance is everything, and let me tell you, balance is an everyday challenge!

What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

1. Be passionate. Find purpose in your dream business. Challenge yourself to create something that means a lot to you, with values you hold dear, and try never to compromise on those core values.

2. Know when to be a dreamer and when to be realistic. When you feel pressured to be realistic, you might need to dream a little, and when you are too deep into dreams, you might need to be realistic and practical. If you can balance those two forces in equal measures, you may find it easier to bridge the gap between your dream business (nothing ever goes according to plan) and the business you can realistically create.

3. Work hard, but not too hard. The idea of the passionate entrepreneur working 80 hours a week, living and breathing only their project, is, in my opinion, a huge trap. If you are happy, rested, and have many interesting things going on in your life, not only will you work better, but you will work with more purpose and without the constant threat of exhaustion. Value your mental health as much as your dream business.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

My coffee is only available in the greater Montreal area for now (Canada), but if you want to send encouragement, like our socials, or just spread the word, it would go a long way! Who knows where we might expand next!

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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