Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Munro, Founder of Al Truistic's Beer Bread Bakery, located in Gravenhurst, ON, Canada.

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

Although we do retail our Do It Yourself Craft Beer Bread kits, Honey Garlic Ale, and Oatmeal Stout bread kits, that's only one facet of our business. We have wholesaled kits to brewers as well. We are currently working with Sawdust City Brewing, who are using our Spicy Parmesan IPA buns on their menu in a Turkey Club.

Tell us about yourself

I grew up baking, but life happens, and baking fell by the wayside. My mom and I lived with each other most of my life in one way or another. One of the bread she and I would bake was her mother's Oatmeal Molasses bread. She eventually bought a bread machine, and I adapted the recipe for the machine.

Again as she aged and my life got busier with a family and life-changing event, the bread machine was stowed away. After my mom passed, I took care of some of her things and found the bread machine, and inside was the recipe, so I started baking again. In my twenties, I had tasted beer bread but never got the recipe, so I went on a mission to craft the ultimate beer bread. I currently have a dozen recipes.

Al Truistic's Beer Bread Bakery is a social enterprise because of that life-changing event and, one word, neuroblastoma. When my wee daughter was eighteen months old, she was diagnosed with stage 4s neuroblastoma, an uncommon, mostly fatal childhood cancer and most common cancer found in infants.

A few years after my daughter's treatment was complete, I recognized I was starting to have some issues and found a small group of other parents whose child had been diagnosed with childhood cancer, Candlelighters Simcoe, which led me to Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (OPACC). I joined that group, and we took it to charitable status.

With some of the proceeds of the sale of my beer bread products, I will help support OPACC, whose focus is on peer support. At a time when a parent has to be strongest for their child, they're being torn apart inside.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Having our DIY Kits ready to go the day the province shut down the first time, not being able to do most of the plan I'd worked on for a long time, having no support from federal or provincial governments but persevering.

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

So many, but you rarely stop thinking about some aspects of your business.

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

Look for good business mentoring programs, ones where you will always be connected. I was fortunate to have in-person classes with Grow Vantage in Barrie, which pivoted to the online Ask For Directions facilitated by Patricia Dent. I'm still in contact and participate in weekly sessions with 6 to 10 other entrepreneurs.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

A good coach is probably one of the best things you can do.

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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