Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Austin Patry, Co-Owner of realsy, located in Dallas, TX, USA.

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

We created the first line of shelf-stable whole Medjool dates filled with nut butters. They taste like Snickers with only 3-4 real ingredients. We sell to retailers (grocery stores, coffee shops, juice bars, etc., and online channels). Our customers are people who believe food should be how nature really intended - clean with no additives.

Tell us about yourself

I've been an entrepreneur all of my life. I was the kid collecting sea shells in North Carolina and bringing them back to Dallas, TX, to sell to my neighbors door-to-door. I did lemonade stands, worked as a hotel housekeeper to test different app ideas I had in high school, and never looked back.

I really began focusing on entrepreneurship during my senior year in college at Texas Christian University when I met my business partner, Sophia Karbowski. Together, we identified the need for healthier meals on campus and started an açaí bowl food truck called Rollin' n Bowlin. For the next 5 years, we would grow that business to 8 brick-and-mortar cafés on college campuses around the country.

My motivation is a mixed bag of many things. My parents have always been entrepreneurial, so I think there definitely was both nature and nurture to help me be who I am today. I'm also extremely competitive, and I see life as a game, with happiness, family, love, and success being some motivating factors that make me want to do great in this world!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Employing and influencing nearly 500 student workers.

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

Just one? HA! Time management is tough.

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

  1. JUST START! Never know where your idea will take you or how it will change.
  2. Start with a niche market and focus.
  3. Have patience. Success takes time.

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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