Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katie Kannen, Owner of The Spicy Radish, located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We're a meal delivery service in Denver. We make all our food from scratch and deliver it to our customers across the Denver metro area once a week. Our primary customers are probably working parents, although nearly every demographic orders from us every week.
Tell us about yourself
I came out of culinary school and worked in NYC as a caterer, in a restaurant, and as a private chef before starting our own business. When we decided to move, I wanted to combine everything I had learned and offer affordable, high-quality food without running a restaurant. We're ten years in at this point, and what motivates me is maintaining our kitchen as a great place to work.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Creating a positive place to work. I went from doing everything in the kitchen while my husband made deliveries to supporting a whole staff who do a heroic amount of work every week.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
When you run your own business, it's all on the line. There isn't a fallback plan. Your decisions, talent, and effort matter, but there's also an element of timing and luck - you never know what challenges you'll have to face. So, I would say that learning to be flexible can be hard. And one more... trying not to compare yourself too much with others.
Everyone you know probably has "regular" jobs where they will likely get benefits, retirement funds, vacation time, etc. As a business owner, none of that is guaranteed.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stick to your vision of what you want to do, and learn what you do best. It's tempting to change your business to suit this or that trend or try and satisfy a small number of customers who want you to be or do something different, but, likely, they're not the right fit for you.
- At the same time, you do have to be flexible and keep an open mind in the face of changing conditions. For example, the pandemic and inflation have forced us to change a few things, and no doubt more challenges will come along in the future.
- Be generous with your customers, your competitors, and your employees.
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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