Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lara Hammett, Owner of Sage Leaf, located in Incline Village, NV, USA.

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

I own a restaurant on the East shore of Lake Tahoe, NV. My customers are locals and travelers from all over the world who are looking for a unique and elevated three-meal dining experience.

Tell us about yourself

I started working in the restaurant business in Napa Valley (home town) at the age of 15. I worked my way up through various restaurants throughout my career in that field and also met my future husband working in Yountville. Our goal was always to move to the Tahoe area, and we achieved this dream in 2011. After working in hospitality for the hotel chain, Hyatt in Incline Village and in the middle of COVID 2020, my husband and I started working on our dream of owning our own business here in our small town. We opened our business in June 2020 and never looked back. What motivates me each day are my kids, my husband, and, most of all, providing a spot and a type of cuisine that serves our community in a way that no other restaurant here in the Lake Tahoe basin has.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Every single day that we are open and successful feels to me like an accomplishment. Being able to leave my job in corporate America and do something that provides for my family and the community that my husband and I built is a feeling that is hard to put into words.

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

Fear - when it's slow, and the season isn't producing like it should, can be very scary. Ultimately we are the ones responsible for our staff and for our mortgage, and when we don't have a day where we make a profit can sometimes be really scary.

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

Anything you want that is worth it shouldn't be easy to obtain. Starting your own business is scary and takes a little time, but if you set your mind to it and research the "how," then you will do it and be successful. The hardest part is starting over. If you have a solid business plan and work at it every day, you will achieve it.

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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