Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Monique Lisek, Owner of YVR Cookie, located in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a gourmet stuffed cookie company called YVR Cookie! We sell our cookies online and deliver them to your door throughout Canada and the US. We focus on creating a truly decadent experience for all our customers! We are true cookie lovers at heart and are creating new cookies! As a result, our menu often rotates to feature unique and nostalgic flavours.
Tell us about yourself
Five years ago, I started training for a body-building show! As a part of the preparation, you eat a regimented diet that consists mainly of protein, grains, and vegetables! Unable to satisfy my sweet tooth, I would scroll my Instagram Explore page, which was loaded with massive cookies, desserts, and treats. I started looking into where I could find those massive cookies so I could enjoy one after my body-building show! At the time, there weren't many businesses in Canada making cookies like that. The ones that existed were on the other side of the country and charged insane amounts for shipping. Growing up, I loved to bake, so I decided to try and make them for myself! After making a few test batches and sharing the process on social media, friends and family started asking to try them, so I baked cookies for them! Once they started sharing the cookies, I started to get lots of people asking to order! That's when I created the YVR Cookie Instagram account to start taking orders! I'm motivated by my desire to innovate and create an exceptional experience for each customer from start to finish.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is growing a business that brings so much joy to people! Since starting, my goal has been to create an experience that is an exception from beginning to end—starting with an easy-to-use ordering process and fast, low-cost shipping that you can have delivered as early as the next day or weeks in advance. Once the beautifully packaged box arrives at your door, the indulgence begins. Giant 7oz stuffed cookies that, once warmed up, become gooey and molten. We created our business with a massive focus on the customer experience, and bringing that to life is always going to be my biggest accomplishment!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a business owner, you're always going to have to wear a lot of hats! And while that's a necessary part of the job, it's very easy to get caught up in the operational tasks you need to do. Learning to invest time in the "growth" tasks and making them the priority was a huge challenge. Those are the risky things that may not pay off or you've never done before! An example of this is that our business was grown on Instagram by sharing photos and stories. With the recent shift to video content on platforms like Tiktok, we had to evolve to continue growing. This was a growth item that I had put off for a long time as it was scary, and I didn't know how to start. There is a focus on TikTok to be more candid and authentic, which we as a brand had never done in the past. Regardless of my fears or uncertainty, I knew it was an important growth item. I set a goal of posting a video once a day. I used it as an opportunity to test many different content styles to see what fit YVR Cookie best. As a result, we're able to connect with a whole new audience and engage with our customers in a more authentic way!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If you're ever in a place where you're unsure what to do, just do something! It doesn't matter if it's the right or wrong thing. Not doing anything will always hurt you more than trying something!
- Start small and don't rush growth. It's better to be trying to keep up than to make a huge investment in hopes that growth happens.
- Invest time in building your social media!
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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