Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa Hugh, Founder and CEO of Southern Maryland Dietitian & Single Ingredient Groceries, located in White Plains, MD, USA.

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

I am the founder and CEO of Southern Maryland Dietitian and Single Ingredient Groceries. In my private practice, we help clients with their personal health and nutrition goals. We also do menu development and consulting for Assisted Living Facilities, other healthcare businesses, government agencies, and private businesses. At Single Ingredient Groceries, we help people who have food allergies, food allergies, and other dietary restrictions find groceries that are safe and enjoyable.

Tell us about yourself

I was happily working as a Registered Dietitian for most of my career. That all changed when I became a mother. I was fired from my job, my part-time job, and my next job. I decided that I had to sink or swim and sinking was not an option. I also knew that having a boss or a strict schedule were deal breakers for me, so my only real option was to start a business.

Now, my motto is "Family First." My business is for my family and because of my family. Now that I have a team of providers working in my practice and a team of experts working on Single Ingredient Groceries, my motto is still "Family First." I believe this has created a happy and successful team.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When my son became unexpectedly very ill last year, I was able to confidently clear my schedule and work with my team to make changes in the business. My short-term business goal was to keep the business afloat while caring for my son. Thankfully he is doing much better, and the business has grown during the past year. I am really proud now because if a team member needs time off or needs to make an adjustment to their schedule, I can confidently allow them to do so with no negative consequences.

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

I pay attention to a lot of details and don't like loose ends. At the same time, focusing on growth, new opportunities, and networking is important also. It is hard to complete all of my daily and routine tasks while focusing on growth.

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

  1. Don't talk yourself out of something when there is a challenge.
  2. Find solutions that work for you and your customers.
  3. Get help. There is so much help available through professional groups, Facebook groups, government programs, schools, social groups, business coaches, and other organizations.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

There is no one-size-fits-all in nutrition or in 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.

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