Mini Mac Farm
Helen McLaughlin & Bill McLaughlin
Tell us about your business.My parent's, Bill and Helen, bought the farm in 2006 and needed to start from scratch to make the land (and home) livable. Now, 7 years later, we are a fully working farm. My parents always wanted a farm but focused on other businesses before their dream. When the opportunity came, they couldn't turn it down. From the beginning, the focus was to raise animals and produce the natural way, without adding unnecessary chemicals and raising free range animals. They had no intention of selling to the public but sure enough after growing for a year, there were too many cucumbers for our little family to eat. After starting a stand on the side of the road and leaving a mini-fridge outside for people to buy eggs, our little market finally opened. There are many changes since the opening including: expanding the garden, adding the "pizza farm", purchasing a truck for markets, selling online, our meat CSA, and prepared foods. Mini may be in our name, but that doesn't stop our ideas from growing.
What makes your business stand out?My parents have been teaching me the ropes of entrepreneurship since I was a pre-teen. They have no idea I am nominating them for being American Made, but they really deserve the recognition. While my dad still works his full time job, my mom successfully runs the farm through all sorts of difficult times. My parent's always told me to be proud of my accomplishments and now it is time for them to be proud of theirs. I've seen the farm grow from empty fields to beautiful pastures and I know this wouldn't be possible without the passion they have.
What's the best business advice you've received?Follow your dream. It may not be easy, and they've shown me that being entrepreneurs can be extremely difficult, but the passion you have will drive you to be better than you could have ever imagined. Let your creativity run free and never stop believing in yourself. Customers often come in to our market telling us how they would love to own a farm. I often laugh wondering why anyone would want to work as much as I've seen my parents work, but it always hits me that, "here they are, doing it." There are times where they wanted to quit, but in those moments, my mom and dad sit down, have a long talk, and come back stronger than ever. This is the American Dream--fighting for what you want; being so passionate about your beliefs; wanting to share your story with the world; inspiring others to follow their dreams.
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