Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Juan Arroyave, CEO of Kikos Coffee & Tea, located in Revere, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Kikos coffee & Tea is not only a minority, local and LGBT. We are a family of coffee and tea lovers sharing our values and support to one another. We try to launch a new product at least every three months based on feedback. The communities we impact are very important, and our goal is to support them through Kikos Foundation. We support education via impact-u.org and provide different places, including shelters with coffee.
Tell us about yourself
Let's start with the fact that I am Colombian, and coffee runs in my veins; not kidding. When I moved to the USA, I didn't have the best experience with coffee or the fact that I am Colombian. Everybody asked me about drugs. We decided to bring real Colombian coffee to the USA and show the real face of Colombia. Since we started with Kikos, my life has changed for good. Every morning, I wake up feeling good because we are powering people's lives with our coffee and tea. This is my real driver, knowing that we positively impact our community and our family (customers).
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Surviving the first two years of COVID as the market conditions changed drastically every month. We were able to pivot our business and start with our tea line, which has been a success because of its competitive prices, variety (loose leaf tea: Green, Oolong, Herbal, Tisane, Black, White, and cold canned tea), and quality.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Separate your personal life and business. It is really difficult because, as a small business owner, you are always on the constant lookout for improving your products, services, getting to your audience, and still being able to make a living. It is hard for some people to understand why we are always working.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Never let anyone tell you it's not possible if you are passionate about something, there is nothing impossible. You just haven't found the way yet.
- Write a business plan.
- Networking is the key to growing your business. Go out there and meet people!
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.