Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sam Zeitlin, owner of Zeitlin's Delicatessen, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

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

Zeitlin's Delicatessen is a local Jewish Deli that uses Chicago as its inspiration. I started baking when I moved to Chicago back in 2018. Feeling a need for some comfort food, I set off to look for the local Jewish Deli and bagels I ate as a kid but wasn't able to find anything quite like home. After a couple of weeks in Chicago, I started baking bagels out of my house and sharing them with my community. We started raising money for melanoma awareness by selling bagels, and I was able to raise over $3,000 in four months. During the pandemic, I was laid off from my job. As a means to make some money, I started selling bagels and reinvesting them back into production. Months later, I started an LLC and created Zeitlin's. From there, we started doing pop-ups and farmer's markets. In June 2021, we started full-time with the Deli and grew at an exciting pace.

Tell us about yourself

I started working in restaurants as a high school student and always had dreams of having my own restaurant. As a kid, learning about different cultures through food was always something that excited me. Growing up in a diverse community, I loved learning about my friends through their culture. This upbringing and my desire to reconnect with my Jewish roots drive me to keep creating Zeitlin's Delicatessen.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have cultivated a small team of extremely talented folks. Without them and the community, Zeitlin's would not be possible. We are excited to bring on more team members. Also, in 2021, I was awarded Rising Star Baker from StarChef's Magazine. It really moved me to see them acknowledge us since we are continually at Farmer's Markets and not at a stand-alone brick-and-mortar.

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

Being able to separate work and my personal life has been the biggest challenge as a business owner.

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

  1. Know that it all starts with an idea inside of you. Write down what you are trying to accomplish and who you are trying to help. As business owners, you are stepping on a roll serving your community. It is important to have a giving mindset when seeking to outgrow your business.
  2. Have people that are smarter than you on your team. We all learn from one another. It is important to realize business is a TEAM sport. We can get further with teamwork.
  3. Health is key to running and growing a successful business. Try your best to get some activity in your days, eat and drink things that nourish you, and surround yourself with folks who want you to succeed.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We are currently at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Sundays from 9 AM-2 PM until the end of March. We would enjoy seeing you there.

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.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.