Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Summer Sevi, Founder of Alla Prima Coffee Roaster, located in Pensacola, FL, USA.

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

Alla Prima Coffee Roaster is a specialty coffee micro roastery serving the Florida Panhandle area and through online sales. We roast and sell artisan coffee for creatives of all types to enjoy as liquid inspiration.

Tell us about yourself

I am an oil painter and coffee enthusiast. Having previously owned a coffee shop in the Washington DC area, I relocated to my home in Pensacola, Florida, and opened up Alla Prima to quench my thirst for high-end specialty coffee, which was fairly nonexistent in this region. As a painter, I would stay up late to create my art and use my roasted coffee as an energy boost for my work. After sharing my coffee with others, I was encouraged to open this business so that the community could enjoy specialty coffee as much as I was.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I recently leased the cafe space in the front of my roastery and have been renovating to open a specialty coffee shop and cafe within the next few months. As a single woman owner, this prospect is exciting and also terrifying. As a child, I never imagined myself as a business owner and entrepreneur, but I'm proud of my accomplishments and of the brand recognition and loyal following I have created within the community.

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

The biggest challenge as a business owner is balancing work and life. Coming into the roastery isn't a chore for me. I want to be there. My children ask me if I like to work (probably because I spend most of my time doing it), and my answer is yes. I love it! It can be difficult to make myself take a break because it doesn't feel like work to me. It's the most fun I've ever had.

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

Learn to divide responsibilities among trustworthy employees or partners. You can't be a master of everything, but several people with different strengths can work together to get the job done wonderfully.

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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