Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joseph Slater, Brand Director of Six Barrel Soda, located in Wellington, New Zealand.

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

We are Six Barrel Soda, and our customers are fans of delicious, low-waste, better-for-you drinks. We make natural soda syrups, seltzer concentrates, and home soda makers.

Tell us about yourself

I worked for several years in cocktail bars in Melbourne, London & Paris and returned home to Wellington, New Zealand, with a drive to shake up the hospitality and drinks scene with new flavours and new ideas. I've always loved soft drinks; as I got older, I was looking for something without all the nasty ingredients and waste.

When we started Six Barrel Soda in 2012, there wasn't much interesting happening in non-alc drinks, and we wanted to spice things up with new flavours and give non-alc drinks the love that cocktails had.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Making it to 10 years was a big win. It was a real opportunity to look back and see how far we've come. Also, every time I see someone drinking our drinks somewhere, I still get excited.

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

It's hard to get out of the day-to-day grind and look at things with perspective and celebrate the wins when everything feels difficult.

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

  1. Start: Think about the big picture earlier - what does the business look like in 10 or 20 years? Is that appealing to you? Are you prepared to grind to make it happen?
  2. Run: Take time out. Long weekends, lunchtime walks, and meditation are all amazing for getting perspective and also looking after your mental health. It's a marathon, not a sprint!
  3. Grow: Don't wait for it to come to you. Go make it happen.

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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