Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kelly Smart, Owner of Kelly's Pub, located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

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

My business, Kelly's Pub, is located on a trendy street in downtown Edmonton. My customers come from all over the city, and as the pub is centrally located and close to the new Rogers Arena, a lot of customers are heading to a concert or hockey game at Rogers. I have a lot of "regulars" as well, and those that are recommended by hotels in the downtown area.

Tell us about yourself

I have been working in the hospitality business since I was 19 years of age. I am self-taught. I have always wanted to own my own business and have done so for over 20 years. I love my customers and staff. They motivate me each day to do my best, change, and pivot as necessary to stay competitive and continue to provide top-notch customer service.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think the ability to switch gears as necessary. This is a very competitive, expensive business to run, and understanding costs is something I have learned over time. Also, the importance of philanthropy and giving back to the community. I have several charities that I have worked with over the years, and that gives me great joy as a business owner and member of the community of Edmonton.

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

Forces outside of my control, such as increases in costs.

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

Understand that risk goes along with following your dream. Others make it look easy, but it is hard work, so be prepared to make sacrifices, both financial and personal. I would say don't give up, but at the same time, understand that you have to have the ability to pivot when things need to change. Don't cling to ideas and processes that don't serve you anymore.

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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