Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Pete Olander, Founder and CEO of Happie, located in Wheaton, IL, USA.

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

Happie is a wellness cannabis brand that focuses on healthy ways to help improve physical and mental health. Our customers are health-conscious consumers who are into natural remedies and natural products to help them feel good about feeling good.

Tell us about yourself

Prior to launching Happie, I worked in the nutrition industry, designing supplements for performance athletes. In 2015, my research and development of a greens product led me to CBD and its anti-inflammatory properties that helped recovery times. CBD and Cannabis have become more accepted, but at the time of development, it wasn't viewed as positively as it is today. My first product was a Greens Powder called Natural Recovery Greens, and I received stories of it helping my customers health ranging from weight loss to less joint pain, among others. But, I wanted to find a better way for non-cannabis consumers to try CBD to see if it worked for them as well as it did for myself and NRG customers. I decided to create the best-tasting CBD Seltzer with all-natural ingredients with a good feel effect, and that is how Happie was born. I have witnessed my customers not only enjoy Happie as a great beverage but also seen it help people limit their consumption of alcohol. I believe happy people are healthy people, and my products provide physical and mental happiness.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We have been nominated as a top brand in the cannabis industry, but I love when my customers go out of their way to reach out and tell me about how they love our products and vision for the company.

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

Every day brings a new challenge or obstacle to overcome, especially in the cannabis business. Building a strong company value system and the right team in a start-up has been challenging.

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

  1. Follow passion but don't forget about the bottom line.
  2. Find the team that brings value to your business.
  3. Don't quit. Believe in yourself and your vision.

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.