There’s a difference between someone who starts a business because they’ve found a profitable business idea, and someone who is absolutely driven, compelled even, to create the very best product possible.
Have you seen the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi? It is a documentary about sushi master Jiro Ono. His tiny, out of the way restaurant, serves, according to many who’ve eaten there, the very best food in the world. I find that the film is an excellent reminder of the fact that there’s a difference between someone who starts a business because they’ve found a profitable business idea, and someone else who is absolutely driven, compelled even, to create the very best product possible.
I’ve collected a number of short profile videos of other small business people in this category below, and hope that you enjoy them.
Joel Bukiewicz is the man behind Cut Brooklyn, making high-end knives to order for chefs. The video takes you through the process and addresses questions like how many knives do you need, what’s up with Santokus, and what is the best knife to own.
Jeremiah “Jere” Gettle has always been passionate about saving seeds. He is the founder of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
Heres the cliché: Alex Hozven craved pickles when she was pregnant with her first son, 12 years ago. And the twist: She started her own pickling business. The Cultured Pickle Shop sells pickles ranging from classic sauerkrauts to unusual kimchees and Kombuchas—way beyond the sour dill. But its the experiments, like the mysterious nuka pot or pickled blood oranges, that really get Hozven excited. Theres plenty of zing, zest, pow in all her pickles, though.
Nach Waxman is owner of one of the largest food bookstores in the country, Kitchen Arts & Letters, in Manhattan. From his perch behind the counter, he sees customers—famous chefs, not-famous line cooks, and civilians alike—streaming in to peruse his bountiful, unusual collection. Waxman shows us the basement, where hes got some truly rare books. And he shares an unlikely bookstore success story: beating Barnes & Noble.
Anthony Mangieri does one thing at Una Pizza Napoletana, and he does it the very best way he can.
June Taylor is a master jam maker and has a rabid following in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she creates and sells her preserves. Here, she explains how she makes marmalade, including the mysteries of natural pectin, the importance of instinct, and the economies of scale in artisanal production.
Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles looks like any other mom-n-pop grocery store when you enter, but a quick look around and you’ll see what makes the shop unique. The store sells nothing but soda, 500 different types of fizzy sweet-tooth-satisfying beverages.