This month’s client is Dave Caswell, of Molly’s Beach Farm. This next generation farmer from Keremeos recently took over his parents’ farm, Starvation Flats Farm. You can find him at the Penticton Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning from April to October.
Dave attended the Self Employment Program at Community Futures Development Corporation Okanagan-Similkameen and we asked him to share his experience about becoming a business owner.
If you were to give advice to budding entrepreneurs, what would you tell them?
The most important advice that I would want to pass along to a new entrepreneur is this: Never be afraid to ask. Ask for help, ask for advice, ask for support. No successful business is built alone; you need a network of people who are willing to share their advice, expertise, and experience with you. Asking the obvious questions is the best way to discover all the little things that you aren't even aware you need to know. The insights and perspectives of other people can help you recognize your preconceptions and temper your expectations.
What has been the biggest highlight since you changed the business name to Molly’s Beach Farm?
People tend to think "Molly’s Beach" is an odd name for a farm, but it is memorable, and it reflects my priorities and the lifestyle that is so central to the business image and tone. We work hard and take great pride in our products, but the true marker of success is a healthy and vibrant family and community. Nothing says "satisfaction" like a sunny afternoon on the beach with the kids.
What has been your biggest struggle that you’ve had to overcome?
The largest struggle for me is probably common among young entrepreneurs; you feel like the world offers endless opportunities and it is nearly impossible to choose a plan and stick to it. Finding focus and establishing a clear goal and path towards success was the biggest hurdle for me, and it took me a while to really figure out exactly where I ought to be focusing my energy. Now that I've cleared away the multitudes of half-baked ideas and dedicated my time and energy toward the farm, I feel a sense of purpose and derive a great deal of satisfaction seeing the small incremental steps adding up to big progress.