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Life & Work with Colleen Messner of Downtown St. Augustine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colleen Messner.

Hi Colleen, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I worked in Corporate America for 30 years, from Pharmaceutical Sales to District Sales Manager with various companies. In my journey, I met great people collaborating to start a franchise. They asked me to be their first franchise owner, and I am fifteen years later – sharing a passion for our products and people.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been smooth?
2008 was not the best time to go into self-owned business because of the economy/recession. It was challenging as we have seen how people learned to do more cooking at home, but we (as a company) evolved quickly to engage more with our guests. I wouldn’t say it was a rough road. However, being a pioneer in a new adventure has various dynamics and learning curves. FDA compliance quality of different vendors for products for labeling to packaging could be challenging, but The Spice & Tea Exchange has always (and continues to) strive to go above and beyond.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My professional life consisted of a lot of different roads and territories. I went through a time where everything for employment, education, etc., was all physical presentation. I studied Marketing and Finance at Ursinus College and enjoyed communicating and working with many people and businesses.

Do you have any advice for those just starting?
Get out and take the challenge. Whether you succeed or fail, you gain experience.

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