An interview with Taylor Russett of The Grind & Vine, Russett Photography + Let’s Get Married Wedding Show.
Briefly describe your businesses.
The Grind and Vine servers premium coffee and we dabble in wine. Our coffee house and wine bar is the perfect spot to meet up with old friends or to meet new ones. We offer a curated social environment that prides itself on inclusion and accessibility. From a corporate meeting spot to a quiet place to study, The Grind and Vine is your place to be, getting the beverage you need to start your morning or end your day. We are inspired where conversation blooms and writers, artists, activists and intellectuals make their mark; we’ve made a conscious decision to slow things down.
Russett Photography: Photography is about noticing the details and living in the moment but capturing for a lifetime. Every photo we take is capturing people’s genuine expression: family bonds, newly engaged couples, enchanted love and connection or a baby’s firsts. Russett Photography is a wedding and lifestyle photography company based out of the Bay of Quinte Area.
Let’s Get Married Wedding Show: An award-winning wedding show in the Quinte region! Happening in beautiful Prince Edward County at Casa Dea Estates Winery, it’s truly designed for both vendors AND guests.
What brought you to the region?
I grew up in the Bay of Quinte area; as a farming family in Stirling we had deep community roots. My grandmother’s first job was in downtown Trenton; it was a very happening place back in the day, she tells me.
What makes the Bay of Quinte a good fit for your business?
This area has been a great fit for my entrepreneurial ventures as I have operated a company here since I was 16 years of age. The community is very supportive of local small businesses, and we rally together during hard times.
We are a community that slows down and socializes with one another; being a social person is what drove me to open up The Grind and Vine in downtown Trenton. I want to develop genuine social interactions that are inclusive and powerful over great food and beverages.
What was the hardest thing about starting a business?
For me the hardest thing starting a business was having the confidence to execute my business plan. It’s one thing to come up with a plan of what you want to do—it’s another to actually execute it, raise the money and get your first customer.
This hardship can definitely be mediated by surrounding yourself with strong mentors, friends and family that support your vision for your business. My most meaningful connections in business are with my mentors that help me on an ongoing basis to overcome obstacles in business.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the area?
Take the leap. Yes, that is such a cheesy thing to say but it is so true. Come up with a new idea, workshop it with people you trust, find a mentor that has achieved something you strive to accomplish, work to create a plan of execution and DO IT.
What surprised you about starting a business in a smaller community?
The community support has been a very enlightening experience, being in a smaller community with large-scale shop local campaigns. The initiative of community members to come out and take time out of their schedule to support smaller businesses during these hard times means a lot.
Taking over a pre-existing business that has been a pinnacle in the Trenton downtown for over 10 years, it has been amazing to hear the stories of people’s experiences in this café as well as what they hope it will become one day.
How have you changed your operations during the pandemic?
I started the pandemic owning a photography company that I knew wouldn’t be operational during the pandemic. I pivoted and purchased The Grind and Vine, a COVID-19 stressed business that was closing its doors; I renovated and rejuvenated the pre-existing business.
What is something good that has come from this difficult situation (the pandemic)?
I have been able to start a business that I would never have been able to dream of at the age of 21. This pandemic has helped my push forward my entrepreneurial dreams in the BoQ area.
If you were to have one word tattooed on you, what would it be?
It would most likely be endure as there will always be hard times in life and business, but you have to stay strong and endure.