Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elliot Cao, Founder of Hast, located in New York, NY, USA.

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

Hast is a direct-to-consumer kitchenware brand that aims to inspire more people to cook with its high-performance, beautifully designed kitchen knives. By combining the latest innovations in cutlery materials and cutting-edge engineering with multi-award-winning modern minimalist design, Hast knives have gained popularity among Michelin-starred chefs, passionate home cooks, and culinary critics alike.

The Hast Edition series 8" chef knife has been recognized as the 2021 Good Housekeeping Kitchen Gear winner, and it is the only brand that scored 5 stars across all judging criteria. With Hast knives, you can experience the perfect balance of form and function, making every meal a joy to prepare and a delight to savor.

Tell us about yourself

I founded Hast because of my passion for cooking. Cooking allows me to enjoy better food, unwind, rejuvenate, express my creativity, and show love and care to those around me.

A few years ago, I decided to upgrade my cooking game by investing in a proper set of knives. However, I struggled to find knives that offered a perfect balance of modern aesthetics, uncompromising performance, and affordability. Most established brands had a similar, traditional design that could be intimidating, especially for new cooks. Alternatively, some more visually striking designs lacked the same level of performance and quality. Driven by passion and enthusiasm, I embarked on the journey of designing and creating Hast. Fortunately, Hast knives have garnered recognition and love from chefs, culinary experts, and home cooks worldwide.

Knowing that our customers are inspired to cook and have fun in the kitchen is the ultimate reward and motivation for us. We strive to get Hast knives into more kitchens and get more to express their creativity with cooking.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of the biggest accomplishments of Hast as a brand is the positive feedback and appreciation from its consumers. The brand's focus on clean and simple design has helped to make high-quality knives less intimidating and more approachable, which has encouraged people to become more comfortable and confident in their cooking skills.

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

Production is the hardest part so far. Making perfect samples is easy. Scale production with great consistency is super hard but worth the investment.

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

  1. Work on things you are passionate about.
  2. Keep yourself motivated with incremental goals.
  3. Cook to eat better, eat healthier, save time, and save money.

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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