Lizette Rivera is the founder of Roasted Whisk, a female-owned Tampa business that offers coffee-inspired gift boxes. Roasted Whisk is the brainchild of Lizette, Sami, and Rose Rivera – three generations of Latina women who’ve combined their passion for coffee, espresso-infused baked goods, and their unwavering desire to bring bliss to people’s lives.
During a time when the world was steeped in uncertainty, Lizette, along with her daughter Sami, and mom, Rose, decided to start their own business in 2020 and since then have been delivering happiness to their customers.
Launching a business during a global pandemic is no easy task, but Lizette was up for the challenge and for that reason, among many, we knew she’d offer other business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs some helpful advice.
Did you always know that one day you’d open your own business?
Owning my own business was something that I dreamed about since I was in grade school. My parents love telling the story of how I would sell my used pencils in 4th grade for a quarter. I knew one day with a lot of hard work I would make that dream come true. Roasted Whisk is now the second business I have owned.
Where did the name “Roasted Whisk” come from?
Roasted Whisk is a combination of two things I love. Freshly roasted coffee and whisking up baked goods with my daughter.
What’s the biggest business lesson you’ve learned so far as a business owner?
Always know where your money is going. I keep a very tight watch on my financials. I do have an amazing bookkeeper and accountant, but I am involved in all areas of operations at Roasted Whisk.
What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
The best thing I did was look for a mentor. I came from the corporate world of insurance and didn’t know much about entrepreneurship. I joined a few networking groups in the area and found someone willing to just sit and talk to me. She was willing to help with my business plan, marketing, etc. Even the days I wanted to give up she was there for me I can’t tell you how important that was for me. Someone to just listen. That person is still my mentor today. What’s really great is now I am in the position to help other up-and-coming entrepreneurs. It’s an amazing feeling.
What do you love most about Tampa?
I have lived in Tampa for over 40 years. I love all of Tampa’s rich culture and diversity. Being Hispanic (Cuban and Puerto Rican), I love that Tampa embraces its heritage. Our restaurant scene is pretty amazing too!
If you could pick only ONE gift box, what would it be?
The Hug in a Mug is my favorite gift box. It is the one my mom, who has dementia helped create. She said, “when I give my friends your cookies and coffee they hug me!”