Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emily Wang, owner of White Heron Coffee, located in Montreal, QC, Canada.

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

White Heron Coffee is a Japanese-inspired specialty coffee shop in Montreal. The cafe offers in-house baked goods using Japanese or other Asian ingredients to pair with coffee and tea-based beverage.

At White Heron Coffee, we want to share everything with our clients. Whether it’s the story behind a brewed cup of coffee or the passion we have in what we do. We are proud of the quality of the products we serve. From the choice of our partner coffee roasters to the extraction of the coffee, we support the importance of ethical coffee sourcing and the quality of the brewed cup. We are a group of passionate coffee lovers who are more than happy to chat and to discuss coffee matters.

While we are a neighbourhood coffee shop that offers a space to reunite, connect, and inspire, we strive to provide our clients, friends, and family with an unforgettable experience for each of their visits.

Tell us about yourself

I had an opportunity to work for a specialty coffee roaster. This new journey has taught me a lot about the industry, but most importantly, it taught me to value the work of anyone involved in the coffee supply chain.

I believe doing what you love is key to happiness. I am inspired by the good in people and believe it takes a group of good people to build a community. I also believe passionate people are contagious, and that is why I decided to open a space to spread love and positivity.

I envisioned a space to educate consumers about specialty coffee while allowing them to slow down in their busy routine. White Heron Coffee was established to connect people through coffee and to reconnect people to life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The cafe opened three months before the pandemic hit. Honestly, it wasn't easy. We closed our doors, changed our business strategies, adjusted our offerings. While a lot of things changed during the last few months, I kept my integrity and the business' philosophy and core values to offer quality products using quality ingredients.

Though the company is still small, I am proud I did not lose myself during this time of uncertainty. The cafe has built up some reputation, gained some supportive customers, and retained the starting team. And that, for me, is a huge accomplishment.

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

Dealing with the unknown. As a business owner, you need to embrace uncertainty and to deal with forces beyond your control. With time, you learn to accept unexpected changes and to adapt to different scenarios. It's not easy to see hard work come to nothing, and it's also a challenge to put that behind and move forward.

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

  1. There is no shortcut to success. Be ready to invest a lot of time and effort before seeing any results.
  2. It is ok to make mistakes. Learn from them and use that experience to achieve something more meaningful and powerful.
  3. Be humble at achievements and persevere at failures. Many things will happen, and most of them will be temporary. So celebrate when accomplishing a goal, and get back on track when things don't go as planned. You're on a long-term journey that will bring you joy, tears, stress, and fulfillment.

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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