Myrna Arroyo has wanted to own her own business since she was 10 years old. A serial entrepreneur, her previous ventures include her own law practice and a title company. After hosting private wine tastings for years, Myrna decided to open her own place in Prairieville: Roux Wine & Spirits, a wine bar for anyone who shares her passion for fine wine, friends and fun.
Tell us a little about your wine bar.
Roux Wine is a wine bar and a wine shop. We have wine from around the world. We do a lot of tasting events and classes. It’s a great place to come try new wine and learn about wine. We also have a wide selection of scotch, a few other spirits. It’s mainly focused on wine, but we have an interest in all types of alcohol from around the world.
What was the moment you decided to start your own business?
I’ve wanted a business since I was 10. I’ve had several, so this isn’t my first. I’ve had a law practice and a title company. I’m a serial entrepreneur.
What inspired you to open Roux Wine & Spirits?
I don’t know if it was a particular moment. I wanted to do something with wine, but no one would hire me to work in a wine place because I had no experience. I started doing tastings with my wine club friends. Then I decided I wanted a store to do my tastings, because then I could actually make money instead of doing it just for fun. It just kind of evolved, so I can’t say it was a specific moment. Once you go down the rabbit hole, you keep going deeper and deeper. I just followed what I was interested in. I started researching it, learning about it, figuring out what I can do with it, and the next thing you know I had this idea. Let’s do a wine bar, let’s do tastings, let’s do something different from the typical bar experience. I just love wine, and I love sharing it with people. I love the people in the wine business. We’re a really fun group of people.
What drives you on a daily basis?
I don’t even have to think about it. I just love it. I love when a customer says they really like the wine I recommended. I’ve always liked to host and entertain people, so a wine bar is the perfect place for me. I should have done this 20 years ago. This is what I love to do. I love to throw parties, I love to plan events. I love to entertain people and give them a good experience.
What has proved to be the most challenging part of owning a business?
Money. Money is the most challenging part. Finding money, making money, keeping money. Just making those money decisions.
How do you handle it?
I’ve had to learn a lot. I’ve had to read books about managing restaurants. When I opened I had no idea what this industry looked like. So I’ve had to do a lot of education on my own. What should my profit margin be? What should my inventory be? What should I be charging for drinks? I’m getting it under control, but it was hard. That’s always the hardest part. Securing capital is a huge problem that all small businesses have. It’s just an ongoing problem.
Book you’d recommend?
The E Myth is probably the best, by Michael Gerber. It’s a very basic business book about the person that’s really good at their job, but not very good once they go out on their own. All they know is how to do their job. It’s about making that transition from being a technician to being an entrepreneur. If anyone I meet says they want to start a business, I tell them to read this.