Global Entrepreneurship Week is Nov. 14-20. Leading up to that week, the Hudson Hub-Times is featuring the story of one of our own Hudson entrepreneurs each week. A summary of the other events in Hudson can be found at www.hudsonlibrary.org/global-entrepreneurship-week.
This week we are featuring Scott and Elaine Montali Kuebler, owners of North End, a casual Gourmet Dining, Wine and Beer Shop.
°What inspired you to own your own business?
The desire for Freedom.° Freedom to make our own decisions and choices and to know those decisions and choices will create success or failure but, either way, it was OUR choice.°
°What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?
In the restaurant business it's staffing.°It is very challenging to find and retain great people in a highly transient business.°We've been very fortunate over the past 25 years to have many outstanding employees but it's never easy.
°What do you find most rewarding?
Happy customers! And we are proud to say we have many of them!°As an entrepreneur, there are days when you wonder "why do I continue to do this?" and then someone comes into the restaurant and tells you how amazing their experience has been and how much they appreciate us being here and that makes everything worth it.
°Describe your typical day?
HA!°Maybe there are other entrepreneurs out there who manage to have typical days but, whether it's us or the restaurant business, it seems like no matter how much you plan it your day never quite goes that way.°As general managers of North End, we're responsible for everything so when someone calls off or the dishwasher decides to have a problem or a vendor didn't deliver what you ordered or any number of other things don't happen the way they're supposed to, one of us has to handle it.°It definitely makes for variety if nothing else.
°What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Again, freedom. Even with all the challenges, we still are in control of our lives following our own dream and not answering to someone else or executing their dreams.
°Your advice to budding entrepreneurs?
Look before you leap!° And look hard at what you're getting into. Entrepreneurship is very rewarding but extremely challenging and a usually a struggle for a long time before you start to reap rewards. And be ready to adapt your vision based on market changes. When we started in 1992, we were a wine and beer shop, gourmet grocery, deli with prepared foods, to go only lunch place that did lots of catering and gift baskets.°When we knew the new downtown was going to include a Heinen's, a duplicate of what we were doing on a larger scale, we needed to change to survive.°We never planned to incorporate a full scale restaurant into our retail wine and beer shop but we changed by necessity and it's worked out well!
°What one word would describe your life as an entrepreneur?
Challenging. But that sure beats boring any day!