Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Scott Unkefer, Founder and CEO of Just Panela, located in Boulder, CO, USA.

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

We package, export, import, market, and distribute 100% unrefined USDA organic cane sugar.

Tell us about yourself

Converting the world from refined sugar to unrefined sugar. I discovered this form of artisanal, raw, organic sugar, and it checked the box of: "Don't look for a void in the market and then go try and fill that void. Find something that when people experience it they say 'that's what I wanted all along'".

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Possibly the world's smallest multi-national sugar company.

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

Well, nothing compared to the people I'm surrounded by that haven't the resources that I have and have had my entire life.

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

  1. Don't do a hobby. Only do something if you do it jumping in with both feet, and your well-being is dependent on it succeeding.
  2. Find a problem (or a set of problems) to solve that is big enough to create a barrier (or many barriers) to entry. Another good indicator is if it's something that makes everyone ask you, "How did you do that?".
  3. Don't have a drinking problem, like I did for a number of years. Hah.

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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