Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Igor Dernov, Founder of French Press Coffee, located in Albuquerque, NM, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers? is an online store specializing in French press coffee makers and related accessories. Our customers include coffee enthusiasts, home brewers, newcomers to French Press Coffee, gift shoppers, and eco-conscious consumers who are interested in exploring and enjoying the French Press brewing method for a rich, full-bodied coffee experience.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Igor Dernov. I have always been passionate about coffee and its diverse flavors, origins, and brewing methods. What first got me started with my French press coffee online business was my love for the rich, full-bodied taste that only the French press method can offer. I wanted to share this unique experience with others and make it accessible to coffee enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Each day, my motivation comes from the knowledge that I am providing high-quality products and resources to customers who share my passion for coffee. I believe that the French Press method can elevate the coffee experience, and I take pride in helping people discover and enjoy the delicious flavors that come with it. Additionally, I am driven by the desire to continually improve and expand my offerings, ensuring that I cater to a wide range of customer preferences and needs while also providing exceptional customer service and support.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My proudest accomplishment as a French press coffee business owner is building a loyal customer base while enjoying the freedom of being my own boss and involving my family in the journey. We work together to offer diverse products, educational resources, and excellent customer service, fostering a community of coffee enthusiasts. The autonomy, family involvement, and positive feedback from our customers make our hard work and dedication worthwhile, and I'm proud of our achievements so far.

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

One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is managing multiple responsibilities and making difficult decisions that impact the success of the business, especially during the first three years. In the initial stages, entrepreneurs face numerous challenges, such as establishing a presence in the market, building a loyal customer base, and ensuring financial stability.

As a business owner who wants to keep the company as a family business and avoid outside investors, I've chosen to prioritize maintaining full ownership, even if it means slower growth. This approach can make the journey more challenging, but in the end, it allows me to stay true to my values and maintain control over the direction of the business.

Juggling various tasks, such as product development, marketing, customer service, and financial management, while staying competitive and adapting to ever-changing market conditions can be particularly challenging. Balancing these demands with personal life and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for long-term success and well-being.

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

  1. Focus on a niche market: Identify a specific target audience or market segment that you can cater to with your products or services. For example, if you're selling French press coffee makers, concentrate on coffee enthusiasts who appreciate manual brewing methods and the rich, full-bodied taste that French press coffee offers. By specializing in a niche, you can develop a deeper understanding of your customer's needs and preferences, allowing you to tailor your offerings more effectively. This focused approach can help you stand out from the competition and build a strong brand reputation.
  2. Prioritize customer needs and satisfaction: Understand your target audience and tailor your products or services to meet their needs. Prioritize exceptional customer service and gather feedback from customers to continually improve your offerings. Building strong relationships with your customers is crucial for fostering loyalty and ensuring long-term success.
  3. Adapt and stay flexible: The business world is constantly evolving, and it's essential to stay agile and adapt to changes in the market, customer preferences, and industry trends. Be open to learning from your experiences, embracing new technologies, and pivoting your strategies when necessary. This flexibility will help you stay competitive and navigate the challenges that come with running and growing a business.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.