Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kelsey Hendricks, Founder of Tofino Kombucha Inc., located in Tofino, BC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

In 2017, I started Tofino Kombucha, which is a certified Canadian-US organic kombucha beverage production company located in Tofino, BC, with a mission to be your gateway to better nutrition and better health. I feel that drinking kombucha is an excellent way to start the journey back to the tradition of regularly consuming nutrient-dense fermented foods. I am just so fascinated with the fermentation process and how a few simple ingredients can transform into something so unique!

Tofino Kombucha brews its kombucha using only premium organic whole-leaf teas and evaporated cane juice to produce a light, crisp, and noticeably fresh-tasting kombucha. Each kombucha product is flavoured using only fresh-pressed juices or dried flowers and fruits.

Tell us about yourself

I started the business by accident when I began brewing kombucha at home while on maternity leave with my first child. After home-brewing kombucha for about a year, I started to wonder what a kombucha brewery business plan would look like and noticed that there were no local companies in my area. I ended up writing a business plan for fun and literally jumped into an exciting entrepreneurial journey. Of course, my background in administration, accounting, and inventory management were beneficial to starting a business in a very competitive market. However, my never-ending optimism and pure drive to find a solution and continually look forward have contributed to my company's success.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner and person is when I realized that I do not need to care about other people's opinions of me and to go for what I think is the right choice. Do your research, stand up for yourself, be honest, and do what you think is the best choice for you and your business. A product distributor once told me not to switch my packaging from glass to cans because glass sales were higher. I did not listen and made the switch anyways; it was the best decision I could have made for my business. As a business owner, you need to constantly look forward and be ready to pivot, whereas an outsider will usually look into the past and criticize.

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

Making time for yourself and learning not to feel guilty about taking time off when your staff are busy working for you.

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

Do your research, make a decision and then go for it! Remember, you don't know what you don't know, so the research and learning never end. The goal of your business should be to work less but get paid more, do not just create yourself a job. Make sure you could eventually hire employees to perform or produce the product or service you offer.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

You may be criticized and resented, but don't let that stop your drive for success. Be humble, work hard and enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

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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