Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Phil Lanzarotta, Partner of Barocco Coffee Company Ltd, located in Mississauga, ON, Canada.

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

Barocco Coffee is a locally owned, artisanal coffee roastery, roasting fresh coffee daily for cafes, restaurants, hotels, bakeries, and specialty shops.

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in a family business and moved to the corporate world to broaden my experience and skill set after we sold our company. I knew I would eventually get back into business for myself. I found an interesting little business (when I least expected it) owned by a friend of mine and thought I could add some value to it.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My first was helping to grow and ultimately sell our family business to a large corporate supermarket chain. My second is helping to grow, strengthen and broaden Barocco Coffee Company.

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

Managing the unexpected. When you are still a small business, don't have much backup, and face the unexpected with new challenges and surprises every day. You have to have the stomach for all the ups and downs, but that's also what makes it exciting and interesting.

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

  1. Make sure you've put in your time working for someone else (or many others) and have become an expert in your chosen field. Being an expert isn't enough today- you also need to really understand people, finance vendors, and real estate well.
  2. Build your financial base and resources before you step out on your own.
  3. Never bet the farm on anything- always ensure you'll be okay if shit hits the fan and you lose it all.

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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