Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Angela Soleno, Winemaker & Founder of Turiya Wines, located in Lompoc, CA, USA.

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

I own Turiya Wines, a boutique winery specializing in high-quality, naturally produced red wines. My customers are primarily highly educated men and women with an interest in high-quality wines, generally ranging in age from 25-65, but we are not exclusive to those terms and have had the opportunity to serve many customers outside those terms, including people new to wine.

Tell us about yourself

I am a single female... I say that because it really defines the decisions that I have made throughout my life to start this business. I started the winery in 2008, as a single mother of two young children, with not much more than a few thousand dollars I had saved up to produce wines that I felt this region (Santa Barbara County) had been missing. I (selfishly) wanted to add wines to my own cellar made in an old-world style, with low alcohol, bursting acidity, and tons of built-in layers of fruity aromas and flavors, that were both already aged but also still age-worthy.

I continue to be motivated by the passion that I have for wine and my own selfish desire to have great wines in my personal cellar and to be able to share those wines with the world. Each vintage is different, from the growing conditions to the grape varieties and vineyard sites that I select, giving me new challenges. The rewarding feeling of watching each vintage evolve from grape to wine to the moment that I finally get to pop the cork is extremely motivating in itself. I continue to strive to perfect and share these fabulous wines with all the wine lovers of the world... well, maybe not all. The production is so tiny that it makes that thought unrealistic... but as many wine lovers as I can!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is just one. I started this business all on my own as a single mother of two young children (who are now older and out of the house). I've never taken out a loan or hired an employee. I do it all, from the website design and updates, the filing of taxes, the making of the wines, the hosting and pouring of it at events and the winery, and the list go on and on. Being a kick-ass chick who can do all of it makes me feel extremely proud.

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

The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is having all the responsibility on my shoulders. Remembering all the important dates, details, budgets, and schedules... That is just not the fun part.

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

  1. Do your research.
  2. Don't be afraid to fail.
  3. Go for 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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