Voss Boss Entrepreneur Spotlight Series — Cassandra Rendell, Owner Of The Lodge Coffee House
For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Inc., we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Cassandra Rendell, owner of The Lodge Coffee House!
The Lodge Coffee House is focused on creating craveable food made from real ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible, and in an inclusive environment that makes everyone feel welcome and at-home. We serve high quality coffee, tea, sandwiches, soups, salads and from-scratch baked goods in the charming village of Bath on beautiful Lake Ontario.
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Cassandra about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
The Lodge has been operating for five years this July, and I’ve been a part of it for four beautiful years!
2: What made you decide to break away from the 9–5 and open a coffee shop?
Originally, The Lodge was opened by my past business partner Lauren in July 2016, just a few months after I moved to the area. I was a Financial Advisor at that time, operating from my home office, and found refuge in her wonderful little shop. I was basically an obsessed customer for almost a year when I decided that I just had to be a part of it, and we became business partners. That’s when I bought the new location on Main Street and we moved the shop there in October 2017. I’ve since taken it on my own, but I always remember what it felt like to be a customer of The Lodge and hold my business to that warm and welcoming standard everyday.
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
Collaborations! My favourite part of the business is building a sense of community, not only within the village or our customer base, but also with other entrepreneurs, especially women/moms. I love using my business as a venue to support others, and create fun new products or projects together.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to go into business for yourself?
Probably raising babies at the cafe, though it also brings me great joy. I knew going into the business that I wanted another child, but I didn’t know I’d want TWO more! So I’m now on round two of working the cafe with an infant as I’m currently about three months postpartum. Some days can be incredibly challenging, both in balancing the business and mom-guilt, but our customers are so wonderful and have supported me day in and day out, and never made me feel like I had to choose between growing my business or growing my family.
5: What is one thing about working in the food & beverage industry that people would be surprised to learn?
I absolutely hated coffee until I was about 28 years old, when someone mistakenly handed me a double double instead of my tea. Realizing it wasn’t so bad after all, my tastes have certainly changed over the last 7 years but it was a crucial step to where I am now! Also my latte art can 90% of the time only be described as “abstract,” but I’m a firm believer in making things taste great over making things look good.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
As much as Facebook can be an effective way to reach our local community, I do prefer Instagram. I love how the layout works, and someone coming to my page immediately gets a sense of my business based on all of my photos together. I really enjoy creating a vibe and look to all the photos that best reflect our environment here, and it really helps in further developing your brand. I also find it a lot more interactive, and the contacts you can make and relationships you can build with other entrepreneurs are truly endless!
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
The platforms were already in place when I took on the business, but it’s certainly the essential way to market these days especially with our target audience. Plus with Covid, it’s been a way to showcase our business to everyone who can’t see it right now. With our current takeout window, there’s no way for people to actually see our food other than on social media, so if it weren’t for these platforms we surely couldn’t survive.
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
Social media has been incredibly effective in building a strong group of followers who support us at every turn, and create a reach that we just wouldn’t have been able to build just within our village. As a community of businesses here, it’s also helping to support our long-term goal of bringing more attention to Bath, and showcasing the beauty and growth of the area.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
Have fun with it! I love taking photos and building posts as it satisfies my creative side and is a nice balance to say, bookkeeping and filing. And if you don’t enjoy it, hire someone who does! 🙂
A Little More About Cassandra
I’m originally from Quinte West and moved to this area after my husband Rory and I completed a foundation to rooftop renovation on an old farmhouse just outside of Bath. Rory is also an entrepreneur and has been in business 16 years as a General Contractor (and our essential “Mr. Fix It” at The Lodge!). We have three children (Wyatt, Rhett, and Ryah), two Shepherds (Max and Bear) and a ridiculous Himalayan cat (Ocean). Other Business Owners are basically my version of celebrities and I love supporting and encouraging locally owned any chance I get!
Connect with Cassandra
Know A Voss Boss?
Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Leave a comment with her name, and we’ll find her and ask if she wants to be featured.