Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andrew Vermilyea, owner of The Speakeatery, located in Asbury Park, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Speakeatery is a breakfast/lunch sandwich spot. Our customers come from all walks of life.
Tell us about yourself
I guess you could say I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. In college, I found myself preferring to go to my kitchen job versus going to class. I truly enjoyed cooking but also didn’t want to work for someone else the rest of my life, so at the age of 20, I made a decision that I was going to learn everything I could about not just cooking but how to operate a restaurant.
My motivation was simple, work hard now, play hard later. These days I am motivated to make my business everything it can be for my family and my employees because, without them, I wouldn’t be here.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We’ve had quite a few big accomplishments, but just getting the doors open was the first, regardless of if we succeeded. Second, making it to the 10-year mark. After that, we’ve been featured on shows like Man vs. Food, Food Paradise, Good Morning America, and Thrillist and have managed to have a few sandwiches go flat-out viral.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Owning a business comes with high highs and low lows. It’s all on you at the end of the day. What you get out of your business is what you exactly put into it. You also have people who depend on you for a paycheck. Currently, the hardest part of owning a restaurant is inflation and economic uncertainty.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don’t be afraid to fail bc truly failing would be not even attempting to open the business you desire. You have to just dive in.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Recognize it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
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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