Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brendan Quigley, Co-Owner of Quigley Fine Wines, located in San Diego, CA, USA.

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

Quigley Fine Wines are importers of small, family-owned, traditional wines from all over the globe with a focus on " Old World" wines. We also have a winery license with a small cellar in Paso Robles, where we produce micro batches of some really unique and exclusive wines. We sell most of our wines direct to consumers through our Tasting Room, our wine club (voted as one of the world's top 10 by Conde Nast), and through a team of Wine Consultants who work with individuals from all over the US to help them find unique, interesting and delicious wines from all over the globe.

Tell us about yourself

I was introduced to the wine world while attending the University of Oregon in Eugene. I helped out with some harvests and worked in a few tasting rooms before moving to San Diego in 1999. I worked for an importer selling wines for ten years prior to starting my own business in 2009. My passion for wines has always motivated me to discover new and interesting wines from the smaller, family-owned wineries and offer them to consumers without the usual " middlemen" involved in most retail wines.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We started the business in 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis and battled through some tough times but built this business one customer at a time. We also opened our tasting room in early 2020 and then faced a 15-month shutdown from COVID. I guess my most proud accomplishment was to survive both of those situations and stay true to our mission of offering the world's best wines to the private consumer.

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

Knowing that every day there are many people (we have 15 employees) who rely on this business to make their living so, taking days off and "throwing in the towel" is not an option because the fallout would impact not only my family and me but also all of my wonderful employees.

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

  1. Find your passion.
  2. Never compromise your mission.
  3. Treat everyone you do business with or who works for you with the same level of respect that you would want from them.

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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