Here's another one, composed by my fast friend, Anna.
Anna started her online gourmet venture, Gourmet Groceries, last year and really has the vivacity of a youngin' in the industry. No manufacturing, maybe that is why... ha.
No, but really- she's passionate about her business and also very passionate about communication with vendors. She'll text me lots- I'm not a Gen Zer, Anna- no puedo. Kind and caring person- very thankful our paths crossed we have already been on some fabulous adventures.
Here's Anna's interview- enjoy it so much!
Why did you start your business and what would 'the you of today', tell 'the you of that time'?
I started my company initially from a problem I had to find a solution for. It's a very long story, that problem; but as I started to do research into the solution, I realized that there's so many more problems that get swept under the rug. The solutions are not figured out because the problems make people money - make greedy people money. I started my business to change the game and even out the playing field (which is something we as women have to fight for every day).
The me of the past would be so skeptical! My closest friends have recently told me that they genuinely didn't think I'd make it as far as I have today. They supported me because that's what friends do, but when they hear my strengths and how I have overcome challenges, they're shocked. My past self would've been shocked too. What I would have told myself of the past is that "you are worthy and capable of doing more than what you think you can do".
What's your worst memory of running your business?
My worst memory - entering into a point of "what the fuck am I getting myself into?! Nevermind, just forget it, this is another one of your things where you get super excited but it will just die down and you'll have spent all this time and money into nothing". I had a month of feeling so guilty and thinking that way before I actually started to tell the most important people in my life about it.
Who has been your greatest support?
I am surprised by this - but, my parents; we don't have a healthy history of me having business ideas (so many MLMs) so I was shocked when they were so proud of me and happy for me. Secondly, one of my vendors - I treat all of my vendors with kindness and compassion, but one of my vendors has become a really close friend. I never would have had the opportunity of such a relationship if it wasn't for this business; and, this friend, is so supportive and helpful and clever (yes Emma, I'm talking about you).
What's your favourite product you make or, what is your favourite way to use the product you make?
My favorite product is the Spiro's Secret Sauce. It's naturally vegan, and I typically use it on my paninis. It gives me my highest margin so there's that, but it's also so incredible that I actually get really stingy about people ordering it, because I want it all to myself lol! Other than that, I'd say my Kite Adaptogenic teas - they really help me de-stress.
What is a customer favourite?
My bestselling products are the espresso bar from Artisan's Way and the sweet orange cardamom mylk chocolate bars from Zimt :)
What do you wish more people would know about you or your business?
The mission of my business is to empower other companies, enrich the Canadian economy, and connect consumers to where their products are made. I wish people knew that more. I spend so much of my time volunteering to create opportunities to help empower others (like the markets). I wish people knew more about these new opportunities that are available to them, so they can stress less, earn more, and help empower others as well.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Markets! I've found it to be very lucrative and more beneficial then pursuing my own brick & mortar; and, I feel empowered myself as well as strengthened. My initial growth plans for 2023 have since changed as I've discovered the markets as a way to help others and connect more.
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you like to see your business change?
I mean, online orders - as I am an e-commerce company - would be amazing! I have some incredible deals as I don't charge the same hight costs that a lot of corporate chains do. I actually encourage people to price match in-store because most corporations don't, or they cap it. Why buy from a greedy corporate company that overcharges, underpromises, and manipulates the industry - for both customers and vendors alike?
Aside from online orders; news coverage. I need my mission to be known. I am cold-emailing at least 40 companies every day just so they can at least be made aware of the opportunities available to them. News coverage would mean more success for the markets and the companies we support through them; as well as getting the word out there that people don't have to buy into something that is overpriced and profiting off of their merit and reputation.
What would your ideal day look like?
Emails from companies applying to be apart of markets; new submissions for the markets I've been advertising; a news platform inquiring about doing an interview; connecting with incredible like-minded women striving to better their lives with innovation; my cat not meowing in my ear every 5 seconds; new online orders - everything but the last two are happening right now.
What is the fondest memory you have from your business?
My fondest memory is the December 10 Holiday pop up market we did at Zimt Chocolates Cafe. It showed me that what I'm doing matters; the input has beneficial output; and, I made more revenue in a span of 4 hours than I did in two weeks.
Aside from that; when I hit my revenue goal for 2022. I was only in business for less than 2 months and I met my revenue goal of $5k. That's huge. It has since all been re-invested back into the company, but still. I did that. I'm so proud of myself!