Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sharon Straci, Founder of The Saucy Ladies, LLC, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Saucy Ladies sell unique, Italian-inspired gourmet kettle-cooked chips to specialty stores, hospitality groups, upscale deli's, country clubs, wineries, and craft breweries.
Tell us about yourself
For twenty years, I developed a brand name Italian pasta sauce business called Rao's Specialty Foods which held the number one pasta sauce position for years. When the company was sold, I wanted to continue creating products; however, I was locked into a non-compete. During the non-compete, I wanted to find a direction for another product. I have always been a snack lover, and chips were at the top of my list. Therefore, I thought of creating a chip that was different, more along the lines of the sauce business. I started working with ingredients based on my knowledge of the sauce business. I came up with Marinara, Arrabbiata, Tomato Basil, and Five Cheese. In market research, I found that truffle products were in demand; therefore, I also created a Truffle Chip. I also have a sweet tooth, so I created a Sweet & Salty chip.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is having a wonderful team of people around me who are passionate about business as I am.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the most difficult aspects of being a business owner is finding co-packers passionate about having the quality of products important to consumers and business owners.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My advice to anyone starting a business is to have a different product than is out there, make sure it is top quality, and surround yourself with a great team of people with various talents. Give your business time, and attend shows to expose your product.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Believe in the business you have started, and it will grow!
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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