On Thursday, February 1st, CFAC will host the 2nd Annual Farm Fresh Pitchfest, a live event where local farmers and food business owners pitch their entrepreneurial projects to a live audience of community members who want to meet their farmers and invest in local food. This year’s event will be held at Burns Street Bistro, and all are welcome to come mingle, enjoy locally-sourced hors d’oeuvres, and if the pitches compel you – make an investment of anywhere between $25-$10,000 toward a 0% interest Kiva loan.
We’re shining a spotlight on all four entrepreneurs who will make their Farm Fresh pitches. Today we feature Shay Farmer of Bäckerei Provincial.
Farmer is starting her German bakery at the Wild Plum Station in Dixon, and her loan will fund start-up costs such as a wholesale license, kitchen supplies, and a grain mill.
“I’ve been thinking about wanting to have a small little place where you can get locally-produced food for a long time now,” said Farmer. “It’s always been “later, later…” but why not now?”
Learn more about Farmer and her new business, Bäckerei Provincial, in our Q&A:
Tell me about your business idea.
I’ve just had people wanting to get bread from me, a gal at the farmers’ market, a Christmas event in Ronan…it’s been haphazard but now I’d like to move forward. A woman suggested a place in Dixon that had been all set up with a kitchen, so I introduced myself to the woman, Crystal, and she’s really excited about helping small entrepreneurs get going. She’s looking for someone with energy.
Once I’m set up in the kitchen, I’m going to start a community-supported bread share (CSB), which is a monthly subscription for bread where you get a fresh loaf every week available for pickup on Saturdays. We’re working on the kitchen, trying to get it all ready to go. Then, there’s different wholesale opportunities I want to pursue. At the kitchen there’s also a vacation rental (the Wild Plum Station in Dixon, MT) so I’m going to offer breakfast and lunch there.
What motivated you to start your business?
How long do you have to wait before you do the things you want to do? I come from a military family and we lived in Germany, where every town had a small little bakery and things were made with regional grains. It couldn’t be replicated because it was only made right there. I feel like some of our small towns are missing that right now, and this can bring a community together.
Who do you admire and why?
I admire anybody that’s willing to follow their dreams and work really hard to make it happen.
What are 3 adjectives you would use to describe your products?
Rustic, Regional, Delicious.
Describe your ideal customer.
I don’t have an ideal customer! Whoever wants to come and eat good food. I’d love to get the folks in Dixon involved. There’s a lot of farmers in the area.
How do you hope your products will change your local community?
I really think the location is excellent. People are always walking by, there’s art, and it’s something people can be proud about – having regionally-produced foods. People have already been wondering what’s going on and seem kind of excited.
How will your business change your family?
My family spends a lot of time in the kitchen together already. I think there will be a lot of projects for us to work together on. I want to share what my family has – good food, nutrition, local food, and share it with a greater audience. It can just be simple and good.
What are you most proud of in your business?
Taking the plunge! We all have daydreams, but I’m actually putting some muscle into making it happen and not just selling bread outside my door.
What is one funny or memorable thing your husband has said about your business?
My husband has been really nervous about the whole thing, but then when he read my business plan he was like, “this sounds like a great idea!” I think that’s pretty funny. He always ends up supporting me.
What are you most excited about for Pitchfest?
This is kind of going to be a coming out to the world. I’ve had these ideas and I’ve been trying to figure out how to make them happen behind closed doors. I just see Pitchfest as a time to present this to people and let them know that this really is happening. I went to Pitchfest last year and it’s so fun to see people getting involved in the funding process when they think a business is worthy. I’m also excited for all of the other businesses that will be featured too; they’re all really good people.
Anything else you want people to know?
I hope people will give the CSB a try, and maybe in a couple more months, stop by for breakfast or lunch!
You can invest in Shay Farmer’s business, Bäckerei Provincial, by making a loan at the 2nd Annual Farm Fresh Pitchfest on February 1st, 6-8 p.m., at Burns Street Bistro.