Bootstrapping Your Dream

Andy Ciordia
12/17/08 11:07:26AM
We came into being because of a loss; my father in-law lost his job untimely and we wanted something else to do and something the family could do too.If he wasn't an expert in the craft it would be much harder, but he's run bakeries and fine restaurants pastry departments so at least one variable is locked down but that's all he likes, the kitchen. The rest of the commercial operation is up to pretty much myself and my wife.In a time when getting credit is hard, loans harder, we went about this as organically as possible. Being Slow Food participants we decided to use our local markets and farm friends to help get us started. That has been an amazing and remarkable experience.To us, showing at multiple markets and having a growing loyal consumer base is proof for viability. It's low overhead, you can start with generally nothing more than your product and you can grow from there.Now we're trying to evolve into retail, hospitality, and beyond and could use some further thoughts on getting a deeper reach into local businesses.I've started working on sales slicks for each demographic and will be firing those off with family representatives but what else should I be thinking of?This is the time where you go from simple positive values to successful ones. In a years time I'd like to see us migrating into a real shop where we can have all of what we offer in cases. To do so means we need to multiply the business we have now and gain further traction.It's been a fantastic journey and I encourage anyone to dabble by doing so at local markets but what are some good growth ideas to cross the chasm?