Ryan Mitchell, Co-owner/Business Manager of Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery

Years in Business:

What did you want to be as a child?
History Teacher

What’s the best piece of business advice you received when starting out?
Anthony Ennas of Entec Systems told me that you have to stand by your decisions. Sometime those decisions will be tough to make but it will be for the greater good. It may not make everyone happy, but being able to explain why and the reason behind it will allow for complete understanding. If the decision you make fails, learn from it, accept it and move forward.

What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting or running your business?
Time away from family.

What’s the first thing you do every morning to set the tone for your day?
Have breakfast with my wife Whitney, and three children, Trystan, Brayden and Wesley. Having time in the morning with my family promotes happiness and positivity. This allows me to have an open mind going into the work day.

What tool, object, or ritual could you not live without in your workday?
Coffee from Rostov’s Coffee.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
Everything we do comes out of a Garden or a Grove. It could be anything from fruits and vegetables, to wheat and honey. Everything we are doing is sourced organically and locally.

What characteristic do you most admire in other business owners?
Their ability to overcome difficult situations and how they succeeded in doing so.

What does the world need more of?
More love and less hate.

As a leader, when did you receive a piece of criticism that was tough to overcome?
In our industry you will not please everyone. Everyone has a different palate. Being able to hone in and make changes to our beers, wines, ciders, and meads is the only way to hopefully hit that customers palate and make that customer have an awesome experience. We work on this everyday.

If you had 3 more hours in a day, what would you do with them?
More time to answer emails!

Which of your personal traits makes you proudest?
I am a people person. In the brewing industry, you have to be able to talk to customers and other business professionals

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you first started out?
I don’t believe I would change a thing. I have learned so much over the years that has helped shape me professionally and personally. There is always lingering ‘what if I changed this or didn’t do that,’ but I believe it would put me right where I am now. I live by a motto, ‘Don’t dwell on the past, play for the future.’ That motto has grounded me in more ways than one

What does success mean to you?
When we find a customer that has never been to our establishment and they have a truly wonderful experience.

Has learning from a mistake ever led you to success?
I think success is oddly defined by mistakes. Each mistake I make allows me to focus, reflect and learn from a given situation. The mistake I learned most from is to always get at least three quotes for any work that you need completed that you are unable to do yourself. You may not always save money, but you may realize that there is another company that is more organized and knowledgeable about the particular work you are trying to have completed.

What’s the best thing about being a local business owner?
Having the ability to work with charitable organization to improve our community.

Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery produces small batch, ingredient driven, organic beers and wines that focus on creativity and innovation. The taproom, located in Richmond’s Carytown district at 3445 West Cary Street, often features live music and entertainment.