Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Candace Tierney, Founder of Oat & Mill, located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

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

With the taste of parlour shop ice cream, Oat & Mill is lusciously vegan and dairy free.

Tell us about yourself

Oat & Mill came about from wishing I could have an ice cream that tasted undeniably rich and creamy and reminded me of the local parlour shop I went to growing up. After going dairy-free, in 2015, I started making my own recipe at home of a dairy-free version of ice cream. It was challenging to replicate the taste I had imagined and remembered. It wasn’t until I was cooking oatmeal for breakfast on the stove one day that I realized how creamy oats were and saw the potential to make them into something reminiscent of the ice cream I had missed. I grew my company from the local farmer’s market on Saturdays to expanding onto grocery store shelves.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building my team. I have an incredible team that shows up for me every day, and I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am without them.

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

One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is the responsibility you have to give back to your team, employee, and the environment. It’s important, and often there are days when you have to make tough decisions to keep the business moving forward while doing your best to build others up and protect the environment.

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

Build or find your community! At its core, having a strong community will bridge the days that feel tough and bring you back out on top. Great decisions are not made in isolation. It takes a lot of support from the people around you to reach your goals, don’t try to do it by yourself! Remember that there is someone out there that’s been through exactly what you’re going through right now. You got this!

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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