Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alicia Barr, Co-Founder and CEO of Truckee Craft Ventures, located in Truckee, CA, USA.

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

We are a company that is passionate about epicurean experiences. We believe in creating and building craft beverage and restaurant brands that bring people together to share their stories, life experiences, and the simple joy of camaraderie.

Tell us about yourself

My first career was as an engineer in the tech world, where I enjoyed problem-solving and innovative thinking. However, I always knew I wanted to be on my own, and while I enjoyed engineering, it didn't "get me up in the morning." It was missing the people element. I wanted to interact directly with the people I was creating for and truly share in their experiences. I also wanted to run a business and make decisions based on what I felt was the right thing to do, not what came down the corporate ladder.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building a company culture that I am truly proud of. Our employees are our extended families who all look out for each other and for the company at large. We have been to employee weddings, helped employees to buy homes, and watched employees build families. We are very philanthropically driven and are one of the largest private donors to non-profits in our community.

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

You are always "on." You don't clock out at the end of the day and leave it all at work. It comes home with you, you sleep on it, you talk about it over dinner, and you are always thinking about ways to improve, ways to be more efficient, and ways to adapt and evolve. It's exciting, but it's exhausting.

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

  1. Plan on 3x the funding you think you need.
  2. Make sure your personal life is ready. If you're single, it's much more simple. If you have a spouse, partner, kids, etc. - make sure they are on board and that you are all ready for the emotional and mental toll.
  3. Surround yourself with smart people who are also good people. You can train and learn a skill set; you can't train for work ethic and strong morals.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Our first foray into the epicurean world, and the foundation of TCV, was FiftyFifty Brewing Co., which just celebrated 15 years in 2022. We have won numerous national and international awards, including "Brewery Group of the Year" at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival. We attribute this success to the fantastic team we have built and by living the motto "We are in the beer business - if we're not having fun, we're not doing it right." Cheers!

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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