Prost! Yelp sat down with Ethan Cox to dive into how Community Beer Works got started and the growth this beloved nano-brewery has seen over the years, as well as advice for those looking to start their own business. What started as a labor of love has evolved into a beer brand we know, love and recognize.
Why did you decide to start your business? Tell us your backstory!
When my wife & I decided to move to (my) home in Buffalo in 2006, it meant that perhaps our academic career aspirations would be derailed. Happily so, for me they were (and for her, they were not!). After teaching at D’Youville College for 5 years, I put my PhD in a drawer and jumped in with 6 friends to take the “home-brewing collective” idea we’d developed into a regular–but very small scale–brewing operation. We began planning in 2010 and opened in the spring of 2012, and here we are still, five years later!
Why do you love doing business here in Buffalo?
What’s the most helpful piece of customer feedback you’ve received?
What’s your advice for other business owners or someone who wants to start a small business?
It will consume you, so be ready for that- and if it doesn’t, you might have some problems. Still, persistence is necessary but not sufficient for success. Be resourceful, and stay as calm as you can- be the eye of the storm that is your business. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses; cultivate the former and address the latter and don’t assume either will just take care of themselves. Believe in yourself but be humble and accept well-intended advice and criticism. Don’t let people get lost in productivity and profits.
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