Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Milissa Oraibi, owner of Wenham Tea House, located in Wenham, MA, USA.

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

We put a modern spin on classic English tea service and also offer lunch, brunch, and dinner in a charming and iconic New England space that is touted as the oldest operating tea house in America.

Tell us about yourself

I learned to cook at 16, working in an Italian Restaurant's back kitchen. My husband Brenden spent time in the kitchen with his Mom and headed off to culinary school right out of High school.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Surviving the Pandemic is the first thing that comes to mind currently, but there have been many. I'm proud of Brenden's talent and that he has a following of loyal diners. I'm grateful we have had success with all four of our restaurants over the years. Our biggest accomplishment is that we did it all by ourselves- no investors and no partners- just me and B.

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

Responsibility for EVERYTHING- It can be overwhelming to know you are responsible for all your employees, your customers, community, vendors, contractors, equipment, utilities, menus, glassware, website, advertising....... It is endless.

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

My husband's first response to this is: Don't f@#king do it!! After a laugh, we both say:

  1. Figure out how much money you think you need. Then triple it.
  2. Don't hire friends and family.
  3. Always be humble enough to learn from other people

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Treat your customers the way you'd like to be treated, and you'll never go wrong.

Where can people find you and your business?


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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