Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jennifer Brogee, CEO of The Meeting Place on Market, located in Lima, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We have three different business lines:
- Coffee shop and cafe - customers are from the Lima, Ohio area, and many are local businesses and workers in downtown organizations.
- Coffee and bakery gift boxes - customers are from all over the country, from individuals sending gift boxes for birthdays and Christmas to businesses sending customer appreciation gifts.
- Coworking Center - we offer coworking space for our local community
our customers are entrepreneurs, remote workers, and independent workers.
Tell us about yourself
I started in the business because I wanted something our family could work on together, and there was not a coffee house in our city. We opened in 2003. I am motivated by serving my team and creating innovative products and solutions for customers. I love the variety involved in being an entrepreneur.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Today I would say my biggest accomplishment was redesigning the business during the COVID pandemic. We pivoted to focus more on our online sales, boxed lunches for delivery, and coworking solutions. Our business has been redesigned to be less reliant on walk-in traffic.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is the insecurity that comes with not knowing whether you will meet your sales goals and be able to pay your bills. At one point, one week's sales were paying the next week's payroll, which led to a lot of financial stress.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you understand why you are doing this. Is it for money, independence, or solving a problem you're passionate about? Be honest with yourself.
- Once you've identified the why, do a feasibility study to make sure you will find enough customers to support that model? Be honest about your potential profitability and how many customers you can reasonable
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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