Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food & beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rida & Nura AbuZaineh, Owner & Marketing Director of The Peanut Shoppe, located in Memphis, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business, The Peanut Shoppe, has been operating since 1949. It started as an old Planters Peanuts shop, with five originals from day one (and five non-original) shops left in the US. Memphis, TN, is the luckiest city in the state to have had three original locations—two downtown and one on the east side.
We roast our peanuts in the shell daily in our 1929 original peanut roaster and fry roast our imported raw nuts like cashews, pecans, almonds, pistachios, and so much more! Because we are in the heart of downtown Memphis, we serve a lot of locals and are happy to meet new faces from all over the world, too. We have had generations after generations of people shop at our business. We love hearing all the memories from people of all ages. It brings tears to our eyes.
Tell us about yourself
Our family moved from Long Beach, CA, at the end of 1992 to purchase The Peanut Shoppe after it went on the market for sale. We have owned it for almost thirty years, making us the longest-running owners of this 72-year-old business—even longer than Planters Peanuts. What motivates me is the community's continued support after so many years. This allows us to get up each morning and be proud to own a shop of its kind.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being the oldest institution in Downtown Memphis, relocating after 72 years (MARCH 2022), and still keeping our regular customers after thirty years of owning the Peanut Shoppe would have to be the biggest accomplishments I would say as a business owner. A small business like ours suffered through the ups and downs of the pandemic and the economic crisis over the last three years (and before), and we are so honored and blessed to still be standing to this day.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I would have to say lack of merchandise or supplies during a busy period like the holiday season. Small businesses are struggling with getting everything in on time. A lot of our vendors are alerting us that things are back-ordered (shipping), so you can understand the frustration and stress of this for a business owner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, be gusty and confident, and have the passion for doing what you want to do.
Secondly, being financially stable is the key to starting a business.
A low budget is not the right step to growing a business. You start strong, and you stay strong. You start weak, and in some cases, you will stay weak.
Lastly, have good employees to rely on who can handle the business well and treat your daily customers with respect.
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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