Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nick Terzolo, Co-Founder of Zolo Coffee Roaster, located in Berkeley, CA, USA.

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

My Mom, Dad, and I started Zolo Coffee Roasters 10 years ago. We source green coffee, roast and distribute it to businesses and consumers around the bay area. You can find us at 5 farmers markets around the bay, San Rafael (Thurs/Sun), Danville (Sat), Stonestown (Sun), and Walnut Creek (Sun).

Tell us about yourself

I love making physical products! We roast every Tuesday, and it's so satisfying to see all the bags stacked up in our production facility. The thing that keeps me coming back is all the people. Developing relationships with vendors is challenging but so, so rewarding. Providing a quality product at a fair price makes people happy!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is working with my family every day. It's true we argue a fair amount, but working this closely with Mom and Dad is worth it!

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

The hardest thing for me is staying motivated during the slow times. It's really easy to take off early, but it's important to set an example for your employees.

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

  1. Don't Do It - Don't start a business unless you are ready to make no money and devote massive amounts of time at the start.
  2. Time Management - Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get priority tasks completed but also enough time to recharge!
  3. Hire A Good Team, Pay Them Well - We pay all our workers well over minimum wage, but we also expect they show up on time and have a good attitude and work ethic. You get what you pay for with employees, so if they are happy, your business will run smoothly.

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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