Guro – Featured small business of the month

August 14, 2017 12:13 pm Published by

The SMB Insurance featured small business of the month for August 2017 is Guro. This innovative small business creates and sells iron cookware products online. In doing so, they are all about bringing people together, whether in their homes or in front of a campfire. We recently caught up with Guro’s co-founder and CEO, Avi, and he provided awesome insight into what it’s like to start and run a small business.

1. How long have you been in the cookware industry and how/why did you get started in it?

We entered the cookware industry roughly three years ago. It took us about a year to set up all the physical and online platforms (e.g., Amazon, websites.. etc), but things have finally started to pay off this year as we are gaining increasingly more exposure and attention from cooking lovers from all across the country. The main reason that brought us to start manufacturing cookware is our passion for the field and for the outdoors; that combination creates what we vision as Guro – a high end line of indoor and outdoor cookware, made by a small, yet dedicated and passionate group of people. While we encourage our audience to cook in nature, we are also working hard on designing indoor cookware that will not only bring you the taste of an outdoor grilled meats or stews, but also reach that level of quality such as the bigger, more renowned brands that we have on the markets today. All in affordable prices.

2. What prompted you to start your own business?

About four years ago, during my Sophomore year at Columbia University, I began to understand that the experience that I gain will be much more worthwhile and fruitful if devoted to a workplace in which I could have the sole opportunity to design and create my very own ideas. As a Physics graduate, I bring my knowledge from the field into our cookware; we designed casseroles that allow a 22% higher hot air circulation during cooking, thus increasing the thermal uniformity throughout the volume of the casserole and result in better tasting food. Science is happening in every step of the creation process of cookware, and it does not stop there, since cooking is perhaps an art, but the language is definitely scientific. Currently, our efforts are concentrated in reaching a staggering 85% pure iron ore concentrations in our cast iron products, and this allows Guro’s users to enjoy a faster heat up before cooking and a much more durable iron that can last a lifetime.

3. What’s the most challenging part of being a small business owner?

Definitely the daily challenges of both surviving in a field of such gigantic brands and having to constantly be an “all around” worker, doing everything from working in the warehouse until late at night to marketing and programming your own websites. In between, I find myself in charge for so many other things, such as designing, manufacturing, importing, distributing and what not. The only way that anything will eventually work out for us is if we nail every single element of this recipe.

4. What’s the most rewarding part of being a small business owner?

It perhaps doesn’t sound rewarding, but seeing our growth in numbers and the feedbacks that we get, I know for a fact that we are doing something good for good people; and that makes me happy. Another thing that sometimes goes unnoticed, at least for a guy like me, is the amount of experience that I gain during this journey. Running a business and handling a hundred processes simultaneously is vamping my decision making skills, my multitasking capabilities, my ability to think outside of the box in order to solve problems (which I always find to resemble my time in the Physics classroom) and definitely my stress management, although one could spot a white hair popping out here and there.

5. What’s one piece of advice you can offer to others considering starting their own business?

Have full faith in yourself and your product. Always introduce something either new or present it better to the market. So far, our experience was gained mainly via eCommerce. This field has much less channels and conduits methods of communication with the customer before the sale than a Brick and Mortar. So, it is highly important to utilize those remaining communication methods, namely media (pictures, videos, etc.), verbal extrapolation and of course, pricing.

6. What makes Guro unique among your competitors?

The million dollar question. Guro is made out of passionate individual material; we are focusing on three fundamental concepts: environmental awareness, uncompromised commitment to quality, and affordability. Our iron casting process is heavily inspected by our team and aside to our remarkable achievement of 85% pure iron ore usage, we also season the cast iron using either Soybean or Flax oils, which are completely natural (thus do not contribute to air pollution when burnt) and very low on cholesterol and trans fat, resulting in a healthier cooking style. Our commitment to quality does not stop there, as we keep reformulating both our seasoning and enamel coating processes to become more and more in resonance with those of the bigger brands that can be found in almost any cooking store. In fact, some of these brands are manufacturing their cookware right where we are, and use the same materials. Our last but no least advantage is our unparalleled affordability. We choose to take less and give more, because it is deeply important for us that the people who share the love of cooking will do so in a healthier and more rewarding way. There is no reason to pay 300$ for a cast iron pot when you can get the same thing for a third of that price.
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