Forgive the very ‘self-helpy’ title of today’s article but it is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. Whether we mean to or not, we as human beings tend to put a lot of restrictions on our own greatness. Does the following sound familiar to anyone? “Yes, I started a business, but it’s just a small little farmers’ market business.” Or what about “My business will never be that big/never make $1M/never…(fill in the blank).” Read more
Posts from the ‘Inspiration’ Category
If part of your holiday plan is to ‘share the wealth’ with others*, have you thought about sharing with other small food businesses? Right now on Kickstarter there are a number of great food business-related projects for whom $10, $25, or $50 could make a big difference in reaching their goals. Read more
This Indiegogo campaign came across my Twitter feed and I thought it was a really interesting intersection of how food trucks can be the new knights in shining armor in an emergency and how they’re utilizing crowd funding to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Check it out and, if you can, make a donation. Also it might get you thinking about what role you and your company might be able to play should a disaster strike your local area.
So many of us start our businesses – whatever those are – based on the models that we’ve seen laid out before us. So, for example, you start a food business and sell through farmers’ markets or, in my case, you start a business resource site and utilize a website to get that information out there. There’s nothing wrong with that but if all we do is copy the actions of those before us can we really expect to break through the clutter? Sure, some of us will have better success than others due to a number of factors – some in and some out of our control – but we’re simply playing in someone else’s model. What does it take to be really successful? Read more
To anyone in the food industry – or really, to anyone who pays any type of attention to what’s going on around them - the epidemic of obesity is not a surprise. The story has been talked about unceasingly by nutritionists, chefs, educators, and medical professionals. In a nutshell, we in the US are getting fatter and so are our children. With a topic as big (pun intended) and unwieldy as obesity, most would say that there’s really nothing any of us small food business owners can or should do to help. I would argue that there is which is why I want to issue each and every artisan food business owner a challenge this year… Read more
If you love to eat and care not only about good food but also where that food comes from and who helps bring that to your table then you need to check out the new Intentional Table website. The concept of the site is to find and share inspirational experiences around the concept of food, wine, and the comradery of a shared meal. As such, the site has articles about everything from an exceptional cheese-making course where the teacher also raises and cares for the animals who supply her with the milk to providing resources and inspiration to help you create your own Intentional Table in your home.
Intentional Table also plans to offer one-of-a-kind dinners by partnering with unique venues, exceptional chefs, and working directly with the food growers. The first such event, taking place Saturday October 8, is a dinner at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a cooperative warehouse for local and sustainable flower growers. More information and tickets are available here.*
*While I know the founder of Intentional Table, I am not affiliated with the website nor do I receive any type of compensation from the site or the associated events. I will however be at the event on Oct. 8th!
In case you didn’t hear, last week Steve Jobs – the person many credit with being the driving creative force behind Apple’s success – resigned from the company. He helped bring Apple back from the brink of bankruptcy years ago to become one of the most successful and innovative technology companies in the world. How did he do it? A commencement speech he gave to Stanford University graduates in 2002 offered some clues…he loved what he did.
No matter where you are in your career – whether you’re currently running your own small food business or if you’re dreaming about taking the leap but haven’t yet done so – his speech is worth reading. I garuntee it will provide you with more motivation and inspiration than anything else you read today!
After a week of heavy financial-focused posts and a rollercoaster ride in the economic markets, I figured we needed to start this week with something positive. It just so happens that last week my family sent me a copy of the Jackson Hole News & Guide, their local newspaper, with an article about small food entrepreneur 12-year-old Ciel Colon Nguyen.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a link to the article online otherwise I would post it because this is a story that will put a smile on your face. In a nutshell, this past summer Ciel decided that he wanted to work and make money during summer vacation. Since child labor laws prohibit 12-year-olds from working, Ciel decided to create his own job! Ciel started Ciel’s Snack Attack Cart and, after contacting Friends of Pathways – the local nonprofit trail maintenance organization, he was able to secure a spot to sell his goodies alongside a popular walking/biking/running trail in town.
Every morning Ciel wakes up at 6am to bake fresh cookies and brownies and he squeezes lemons to make the handmade lemonade that he sells trailside. Then the 12-year-old loads everything into the Ciel’s Snack Attack Cart that’s attached to his bike and bikes almost 4 miles to his trail location. Once there, the newspaper reports that he sings throughout his 8-hour day to attract passersby. A true businessman, Ciel has even negotiated with a local grocer to recieve a discounted rate on the ingredients he needs in exchange for promoting that store to his customers. Ceil also give 5% of his net revenue back to Friends of Pathways.
Why is he working so hard when other kids his age are lounging by the pool or playing video games? Ciel says that he’s saving up to buy soccer cleats and, if he makes enough money, bike jerseys for his friends. How can you not be inspired by his story!