Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coffee-roasting but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shravan Sadhwani, co-founder of Van & Co., a specialty coffee roaster located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

We are a specialty coffee roaster focused on producing offerings that elevate. We thoughtfully source beans from around the world with a preference for small lot coffee producers who share the same level of quality and attention to detail. As roasters, we aim to highlight the intricacies of each bean in our rotation. We provide familiar staples, as well as a curated selection of in-season favorites.

We cater to those who find solace in the simple things done with care. We want to encourage our customers to take time to slow down – to sip and savor, smell the aroma, and enjoy the small pleasure a cup of coffee can bring.

Tell us about yourself

Van & Co. was created as a result of a mutual passion for coffee and the arts. I started the business with two of my best friends, one of which happens to be my wife now. The three of us studied graphic design together and, after working in the creative industry for several years, decided we needed a better outlet for expression. Like most people that work in creative roles, you either hit a wall or aren’t given the opportunity to fully express yourself.

We had been talking about starting our own business for years before creating Van & Co. We wanted to create something that would reflect our own individual sensibilities - having the opportunity to do this and share it with the world is what motivates us to continue on this journey.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Seeing your vision take form and having it be well-received.

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

Understanding that you get what you put in. While a little luck can play a factor at times, your success is often determined by how much time and effort you’re willing to put in. In our case, the three of us are parents who still have full-time jobs outside of Van & Co., so dedicating any free time towards the business is crucial for meeting certain objectives. Catching up on Netflix shows isn’t an option most days.

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

  1. Things take time. No matter how much you plan and try to estimate, there are always many unforeseen hurdles or challenges that will take time to tackle. In some cases, this involves adjusting your initial vision or business plan, likely to set you back a few weeks or months. Be flexible and stay the course; your product/service will only be stronger.
  2. Be true to yourself. With the advent of social media, often, it may feel like you need to follow the next trend to stay relevant. It’s easy to get lost. With a strong vision and authentic voice, you will attract an audience that will stick with you.
  3. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Knowing the answer to that crucial question will make everything else easier as you continue down your journey.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We are looking forward to 2022 and hope to collaborate with a few of our friends on some exciting initiatives. Stay tuned!

Where can people find you and your business?

Instagram: @vanandcocoffee
Facebook: @vanandcocoffee

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.

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