Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Jacks, Owner of Nickel 9 Distillery, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

We are a micro-distillery in Toronto. We sell to the public online and from our retail store in the distillery. We have four products that sell in the LCBO, and we also sell directly to bars and restaurants around Ontario.

Tell us about yourself

I came to distilling through mixology. I have been working my whole life in the hospitality industry, focusing on bar and cocktail development. I would say what motivates me the most is the connections I get to make in the industry every day. Working with other business owners to develop custom products or work together on different projects/events.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Hitting the five-year mark in business has been a great success; it is not easy to get something off the ground. Also, employing a great team of people. My staff is over 12 people now, and I really like my role in supporting them to succeed in their jobs.

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

Growth. If you want to scale your business in any way, it comes with a million obstacles. Figuring out all of the ancillary requirements and making sure they are done correctly becomes a full-time job.

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

It's not easy. I think that is the first. If it feels hard, you are probably going in the right direction. You need to stay with it and prepare yourself for the waves of highs and lows that come through the years.

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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