Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Spencer Kerber, Founder of Bessie, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Tell us all about your business...

Bessie works with natural food producers to deliver next-gen grocery experiences to local eaters. Bessie represents friendly food, personally and purposefully shared hand to hand—this isn't just an "Amazon" delivery getting lost by FedEx. Bessie has two businesses: SaaS for food producers and ecom grocery consumer brand. We build software for food producers that powers food-safe grocery from farm to table by automating personalized customer engagements (via SMS automation) and simplifying batch delivery on "milk run" routes (via local couriers). We also have our brand, "Bessie Box," with natural grocery consumers across multiple cities in Canada.

What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?

I love food so much. My previous experience was in mechanical engineering and industrial process optimization—SO BORING. I came alive when I got to learn about and work with food. The stories and cultures that can be shared at a table were too good to pass up. So I quit my career cold turkey and started Bessie. Bessie's goal was to make it simple for everyday people to engage deeply with the food on their table (and the family at their table). I wake up hungry every morning—just like everyone else ;).

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment as a business was to build a business without compromising on our values. Along the way, we learned to make the team and an extended network of fellow food and distribution workers that could support each other to accomplish something seamless for the end customer—so they could focus on the eating part! Of course, some super challenging experiences came up that provided a crossroads for us...would we take the "easy" option or the "hard" option? An early example was that our first and only farmer partner revealed themselves to be racist. We had zero other supply chain options at the time, and we could've looked the other way, but this wouldn't have been acceptable to our small team—especially with a woman of color as a cofounder. We chose to cut ties with the farmer immediately and look for other options, just as our business was taking off. It created many headaches but ultimately affirmed that Bessie would do right whenever we had the change.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?

Being able to focus/prioritize on the most significant drivers for success. With limited time (and cash), it can be hard to make bets all over the place. Concentrating on the team's best idea or two and pursuing it entirely to a result (success or failure) can feel unintuitive because there are SO MANY different things that go into making customers happy and building a business. But that prioritization has to happen, or else everything sits halfway done.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Understand how much capital and labor is required for the business model and stage. Are there ways to limit the scope to match budgets/bandwidths?
  2. Pick something you love. A good business model is straightforward. Doing something even when it's not getting results is challenging.
  3. Get help from peers, mentors, and therapists. Don't wait until things are breaking.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Build a more extended table, not higher walls. You'll be much happier.

Where can people find you?

Natural Tastes Better | Farm to You – Bessie Box
Strong Farms, Healthy Families, and Connected Communities. Feed your family the best Alberta has to offer. We work with local producers who are committed to raising animals the right way: no added hormones, raised without antibiotics, and open pastures. Made by Albertans, for Albertans.

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.