Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shihab Seenath, president, and CEO of ND Fresh, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

ND Fresh is an e-commerce platform dedicated to Delivering fresh meat, fish, veggies and fruits, spices, and other cooking essentials directly to our buyer's homes. At NDFRESH, we aim to use as much as we can from local sources in Canada. If that's not possible, then our team will reach out across the world to sustainable suppliers! This journey helped a lot in building trustworthy connections and relationships with farmers, reliable suppliers, farm owners, and customers. This attention to detail mindset has allowed us to find success in unconventional ways and chart our own path as we grow into a renowned brand.

Our meticulous methods ensure unrivaled quality and attention to detail throughout our collections. We believe that good food should be all about quality, variety, and simplicity.

Tell us about yourself

NDFRESH grew out of a small, sincere, yet very determined desire to make fresh, healthy, and halal food products easily accessible to people. As a consumer-focused on buying the best quality grade ingredients for my family, I found that the products available at supermarkets, especially meat, fruits, and vegetables, were not fresh and often days old.

Greatly disappointed, I began to hunt for better sources locally and heard about the farmer's market and local farms. Much to my happiness, I found incredibly fresh ingredients there. Family and friends who came for dinner parties were regularly amazed at the food prepared. The difference in the taste of the meals cooked with such incredible produce became the talk of the town. I ended up recommending the same to others. But to their dismay, they were unable to buy the same quality ingredients from the farmer's market and farms, as they did not know how to select the best and freshest.

Soon enough, I started getting requests from family, friends, and neighbours to buy their customized share of fresh groceries on my weekly trip to the farmers. As people's demand grew with an astonishing increase in quantity, I found it a little too difficult to handle bulk purchases along with my other responsibilities. Fortunately, an idea transformed into a rewarding venture for me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner, my biggest accomplishment would be the joy of working for something I believe in and creating jobs for people. Be a good leader and support the team, bringing products that my customers love. Above all, I am so happy to dedicate ourselves to delivering our customers the best choices and great quality. My customers understand that, and they would send emails or reviews mentioning how glad they are, and most days, that's what truly makes our day.

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

Being a business owner is hard. Many people think it's better to quit their 9-5 job and start something of your own and become a business owner and be your boss. I would say that's not completely true. At a 9-5 job, you usually work only 9-5, and you would leave all your thoughts and stress at the door when you punch out. Once your shift is over, or once you punched out, you don't have to think about anything. But being a business owner, you would be thinking and working 24by7. Even if you wake up in the middle of your sleep, you would be then thinking about all the things that you would have to get done, or might be thinking if your order would be here by morning? All those sorts of things and the journey you have to go through to become a business owner are hard.

So anyone thinking about an easy workaround from the usual 9-5 is starting something on your own, then you are wrong. I would say, starting a business would be for someone who thinks, ' Oh, I am not using my full potential here on my 9-5 job, I think I could do a lot more. Here I am getting bored and have nothing else to do. I believe I can create wonders and am ready to work hard' - That's the ideal person who would be a good business owner, but again the struggle would be a lot more but trust me, the results are going to be awesome as long as you are ready to work hard and have persistence.

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

  1. Be a good person - Everyone thinks business is all about money, but it's not always just money. Be a good person yourself. Many people I know, including a few of my close friends, think business is about fooling people and tricking others. It's NOT TRUE. Business is about doing what is right and believing in doing the good things, and trusting in yourself and the work you do. Always deliver the best. At ND Fresh, one of the main things that we focus on is providing the greatest products and always being open to customer suggestions and feedback. If someone didn't like our products, we refund right away. We strictly believe that ND Fresh is more about values and quality. Once we have this mindset as business owners, I believe success will come to you.
  2. Find a Good Mentor - It's always good to have a mentor who really believes in you and, more than that, someone who really wants to see you succeed. That's very important. Not everyone trusts you, or not everyone wants to see you succeed. Only a very few people would really like to see you succeed, so find those people. You should be in the idea that everyone who is around you wants to see you succeed. The truth is only a very few of those friends or family would really like to see you succeed or believe in you. How do you know? I would say when things get really difficult, and you are completely helpless and in need of that lifeline or in desperate need of support, then look for the persons who are still around you. I would say when you are really struggling, only a very few people you trusted would be there for you to lend their hands. Believe in those hands.
  3. Be a Very Good Student - YES! I believe learning is a very important part of being an entrepreneur. The learning here would be completely different. You won't learn from assignments or textbooks alone. As a business owner, you learn every day from the things you go through. Learning how to be a good boss, How to be a good co-worker, How to be a good salesman, How to improve your products and services. And trust me, most of the time, your customers are going to be your best teachers. They would tell you to want they like or dislike. They would tell you what more to add and much more. So listen to your customers. Any bad review you get in that journey, be thankful to the customers, even if they left a bad review. Learn from them why they didn't like something, and correct the issue before 500 other customers give you a bad review for the same issue. We have to believe that we make mistakes, and we are always ready to fix them and grow. This mindset is very important, as many people say the customers are the king. I would say the customers are the king and also our best teachers.

Also, read books, listen to podcasts, watch entrepreneur shows, read biographies. Learn from other people, learn from others' mistakes. Always keep learning and believe me, you will see real success in the end.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I would say that being a business owner is going to be really hard. Especially when you are building something from scratch, be ready to get that rollercoaster in life. If possible, find a good co-founder you can rely on and trust. Because there would be times when life would become so difficult for you, and then you would need that person to be there for you to support each other. Also, if someone comes to you asking for help, help them out. Be a good leader, be a good mentor. Help anyone who asks for your support. There are enough fish in the sea for everyone, so don't be selfish. Always be positive, and that's very important to succeed. Be a positive person, be good to others, help others, and you will always be happy.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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