A Pandemic Job Loss Inspired This Tennessee Coffee Shop Owner — and Now Business Is Booming
We here at GOBankingRates want to help get our nation’s small businesses back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. To do that, we’re highlighting readers’ favorite small businesses around the country, and shining a spotlight on what makes them special to their customers and their towns.
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In this edition of our Small Business Spotlight series, we’re featuring Roundhouse Coffee, a direct-to-consumer and online-based coffee company located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Owner Shiloh McCulley has a passion for coffee and his community, hosting local pop-ups as well as delivering and shipping custom coffee packages. Here, we chat with McCulley about how the pandemic inspired him to pursue his dream, why his love of community has been an asset to him as a business owner and the inspiring advice he would give to other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Was there a particular moment or experience that inspired you to start your business?
After I lost my job during the pandemic, it really hit me how short life was and how much I wanted to see my dreams become reality.
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What did you take from past experiences or jobs that you knew you wanted to be a part of your new business?
All the jobs I worked prior to Roundhouse required good communication skills, and a love of people and community.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a business owner?
All the connections that are made throughout the community. I love meeting new people.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
Well, I started this company in the middle of the pandemic, so we had some challenges like everyone, but thankfully, business has been booming.
How can people continue to support your business during this time?
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
Go for it! I told myself “why not” and never looked back. Why not today? Why not you?
Do you have a small business you want to see in this spotlight? Just let us know.
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This interview has been edited for clarity.