Spotlight: Seth Rubin with Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen and Cafe

Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen and Cafe has been a staple in the Denver community for over 10 years. What started as an idea written on a small scrap of paper (that was quickly lost), has manifested into two successful locations with cozy seating and local art lining the walls. In fact, a third location is already in the works. 

Owner Seth Rubin, a native North Carolinian, opened his business with no prior experience but a deep understanding of just how good a southern-style biscuit could be when baked just right. 

On any average day, you might find yourself trying a curry-flavored biscuit, or even a refried bean biscuit topped with cheddar cheese. 

From the perfect coffee roast to mouthwatering breakfast treats, Seth is on a mission to make the best biscuits in Denver—and achieve global biscuit domination, of course. Read more about Seth and his small business below, and if you’re ever in the Denver area, make sure to check out the Biscuit of the Day at Rise & Shine.

Q. When and why did you start your business?

Seth: I started Rise & Shine back in 2010 because I needed a job, I was hungry, and nobody was really doing biscuits in Denver.

Q. How did you adapt to challenges that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Seth: Fortunately, it was a very easy pivot for us since our service model was grab and go to begin with. Accepting online orders and putting in an ordering window were the only real changes we made other than closing off the dining room for a period of time and managing the unending supply chain juggle.

Q. What’s been your proudest moment as a small business owner?

Seth: Oddly, one of the proudest moments was way back in the early days when I had the opportunity to acknowledge a failure and take complete and total responsibility for the mistakes made on the way to that failure.

Because I worked for others my entire working career prior, it was very satisfying being responsible for everything, even the missteps. Prior experiences were frustrating when I knew that I was doing the most I could with other peoples' decision making—knowing it would lead to poor outcomes and having very little control.

Q. What’s the next milestone you’re looking forward to for your business?

Seth: Global biscuit domination… or just getting store #3 open. Take your pick!

Q. What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring small business owner?

Seth: Do your math in pencil and always double, if not triple check, your work. Know your costs, potential sources of revenue, add some conservative contingency, and assess if your business will look like what you want it to. 

Don't buy a job that somebody would pay you to take, and make sure some day you'll be free of day-to-day operations, otherwise your business won't have much room to grow.

Q. Where can we find you on social media?

Seth: You can find us on Facebook and Instagram at @riseandshinedenver or on Twitter at @riseandshineden.

Find more inspiration

Curious about starting your own small business? Read more about other business owners on our Small Business Guide.

SumUp Team