Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Monica Epstein, Co-Founder of Ysidro Sake Spritz, located in Montecito, CA, USA.

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

Ysidro is an elevated sake spritz, created in Montecito, CA. We like to say our customers are ‘curious tastemakers,’ anyone from 21 to 99 years old.

Tell us about yourself

Ysidro may have started with a dream, but my stake in it became clear to me once I began to finalize all the details of the brand, and it began to take shape. Initially, when we began, I was worried that I’d be spread too thin by adding a new project to my plate, but after one of our first events at a friend’s store, I caught the bug. The event led to the business taking on a life of its own to what it is today – the connections made early created what’s become a never-ending task list for what’s next. It all begins with those human connections. There were moments in the beginning when I felt unpolished and like I had marbles in my mouth during some of those early conversations, but I soon rediscovered my love for interacting with people and being social, creating a product I love and engaging with businesses I believe in is the icing on the cake. Ultimately, I love people and could spend my whole day socializing – it energizes me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Getting to 100 accounts in less than a year. Watching Ysidro grow, taking the reorders, and having stores and restaurants we adore take an interest in and want to bring us under their wing has been so rewarding. It gives me fuel.

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

You only have yourself to blame. That's why I wake up at 4:30 am :)

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

  1. Even if you don’t think you have the energy, challenge yourself. When you’re working on a project that inspires you, it will naturally energize you. I was exhausted as a mom and really thought that there would be no way I would have additional energy to put towards this project, but doing something you believe in is a different kind of energy expenditure. The energy generates from someplace else.
  2. Practice your pitch in an elevator or simulate one. I use this idea every day. I always rehearse what I am going to say.
  3. Dive out of your depth – it will awaken you from your previous routine or thought slumber. Sometimes, you have to shock yourself out of your routine. Those moments of intimidation, discomfort, and challenges are what lead to growth.

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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