There’s no question that the food and beverage industry is tough. Profit margins are small and failure rates are high—roughly 80 percent of restaurants, for example, don’t make it to their second birthday. But it can also be an incredibly rewarding business for those plucky and lucky enough to find success—the Entrepreneurs issue of Gourmet Live salutes those who have already made it and those on their way.
We begin our tour of movers and shakers with the top 25 American food entrepreneurs of the past 25 years. Kate Sekules pays tribute to major players such as Mario Batali, Annie Chun, and Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, who have not only made their fortunes but also “shifted the axis of American taste.” For a preview of some of the folks who may populate such a list someday, read Matthew Kronsberg’s piece about food-biz start-ups crowdfunded via Kickstarter.
If you have a quit-your-day-job dream simmering, you’ll be inspired by three more tales of passion and perseverance in this issue: St. John Frizell’s firsthand account of launching his Brooklyn bar/café, Fort Defiance; a visit by Jean Anderson to Saxapahaw General Store, the North Carolina haute eatery that gives the term filling station a whole new meaning; and an ode to the makers of Kate’s Real Buttermilk, who turned a butter by-product into liquid gold, penned by Gourmet Live’s Kemp Minifie.
Minifie explains the difference between everyday grocery-store buttermilk and the real deal from a source like Kate’s—the latter is the kind you’ll want for renowned Southern chef and cookbook author Scott Peacock’s Crusty Buttermilk Biscuit recipe.
What start-up stories inspire you? Get in touch via Twitter or Facebook, drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org), or post a comment on our blog. For more tasty bytes, sign up for our weekly newsletter and get access to our most read blog posts, editors' favorite recipes, and exclusive reader offers.
Dream big—we sure do,
The Editors of Gourmet Live