Bad experiences, no safety net and other things that scare owners

vbridges@newsobserver.comOctober 28, 2013 

In the spirit of Halloween, Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners what scares them most about owning their own shop.

• “Initially, the fear that you feel deep in your bones is ‘Will the gamble of putting everything we have and are into this business work?’” said Areli Barrera de Grodski, co-owner of Cocoa Cinnamon, a coffee, espresso, chocolate and tea house in Durham. “Now our (healthy) fear lies more in the success of the way it unfolds.”

• “The thing that scares me the most ... is that we operate without a safety net, but I guess that’s really the allure as well … sort of living on the edge and seeing if you can make it,” said Jennifer Reynolds, owner and operator of Ace Rug Cleaning, a carpet and rug cleaning, repair, sales and installation business in Raleigh.

• “Fear is what makes Halloween exciting, and it’s also what makes running a business exciting for us. As restaurant owners, our greatest fear is that a guest might come to Hungry Leaf and have a less-than-perfect experience. It scares us and inspires us,” said Peter Goodwin, co-owner of Hungry Leaf, a salad, soup and wrap restaurant in Durham.

• “Being responsible for everything. I am not afraid of failure, but I am afraid of the success as a small-business owner,” said Ginny Johnson, president of Ginny O’s Gourmet Cheese Straws, a Raleigh-based business that makes all-natural, baked cheese straws.

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