Entrepreneur Of The Year
Business: Braumeister Brewing Co.
What is your product, what services do you provide? We are a craft brewery that specializes in German and European Craft Beers. We have 2 flagship beers as well as rotating seasonal offers throughout the year. We also carry a variety of merchandise, club memberships, and local products that incorporate our beer.
Who are your clients? We have a variety of clients in Carleton Place, Lanark, and the greater Ottawa region. We have a taproom and patio attached to the brewery that has become a local gathering spot for townspeople. We also supply most restaurants in town (and surrounding area) and we also supply local independent grocery stores. Our reach of clients has grown throughout our first couple years and has picked up dramatically with the launch of our online shop and local delivery.
How was the idea for your business conceived? What made you think the business would be a success? (What initial research, planning, etc. was carried out? What were some of your original goals and objectives?) Our owners (Rohit and Ravi Gupta) first came up with the idea while Rohit was teaching high school in Austria. There we saw the cultural aspect to gathering at beer gardens as a social and networking locale. We fell in love with the traditional styles of beer that is brewed and served in the region and wanted to bring that back to Canada for everyone here to enjoy as well as there is no other brewery that offers these styles of beer.
There was plenty of research done as this project was in the works for multiple years before we opened, with visits and discussions with Austrian and German brewers and brewery owners. When we saw that our current location was available, we jumped on the chance to open up in the heart of Carleton Place in hopes to be a staple for the town for many years to come.
Our main goal and objective was to make the best beer possible. We have several decades worth of brewing experience in the company and we take pride in the consistency and quality of the product. The other most important goal was to integrate into the community by creating a place that everyone in town feels very comfortable in and this has led to many friendships and relations being made in our taproom since inception.
What challenges have you met and overcome in the first years of business? (For example, financing, access to start-up information, personal time commitment, labour market, product or equipment supply.) Financing is always a major challenge for any start up business, and we are no exception. Also, we encountered numerous challenges during construction and opening that were unexpected, but also manageable. We worked very hard to create a client base as this was a brand new product to a lot of people in the area.
Like any other small local business, Rohit and Ravi put in incredible hours of work in getting the business up and running. The time commitment is nothing unique to Braumeister, but it was significant challenge. We feel we have now overcome these challenges and can now continue to grow the business as we move forward.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs in business? There are endless pieces of advice we can offer, but a few main ones that seemed to help us were:
– Don’t look at other companies as competition, but more so as peers/collaborators.
– Do your research. Every little detail matters.
– We feel like the location we selected is a part of our success.
– Ask for advice from professionals that have been through it before and don’t cut corners.