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12 Under 35 Entrepreneurs Share Advice

Specialty Food Association

Three members of the SFA’s 12 Under 35: Breakout Talent to Watch list shared the following advice for early-stage entrepreneurs during a Fancy Food 24/7 panel, last week. 

“I wanted this so badly and early on I trusted people who I shouldn’t have since I just wanted to push through and get it done. It sounds so cliché but trust your gut. When you have a good idea, the sharks will circle so be really careful and find people who you trust. It’s great to want it badly but can lead to not so great decisions so make sure you trust the people who you work with.”

--Cara Nicoletti, co-founder and CEO of Seemore Meats & Veggies

“Spend a lot of time upfront investing and building out and understanding what you want to build on what timeline and develop a vision for how big it will be, which channels you want to sell into, and who you will serve. Determine that upfront because that will flow down into all the decisions you’ll make along the way. Who you take on as investors or partners is so impacted by the expectations you set around what your business will be.”

--Vanessa Pham, co-founder of Omsom

“Once you figure out your ‘why’ it’s so easy to distinguish who aligns with your values and it helps keep you motivated and impassioned. It’s also beneficial when you’re trying to relay to investors why you’re about it and that energy that you emit can be fuel for other people. Also, just do it. You can plan it out on paper as long as you want but nothing is going to happen if it just stays on paper.”

Gaïana Joseph, co-founder and director of Fuel the People

Related: Young, Female Entrepreneurs Launch Despite COVID; 7 Takesaways From SFA's Today's Specialty Food Consumer Research.