There are many challenges as well as pleasures to be had in starting a business. One aspect that we enjoy tremendously is the relationships that we are able to build with both our suppliers and customers.
Recently we were approached by Gwynnedd Laubscher from the Country Butcher in Swellendam who was interested in stocking our Rooibos tea. Learning from other entrepreneurs' experiences and stories is vital to building a business, so we asked Gwynnedd few questions about her journey so far.
Creativity and perseverance
"My husband and I started the The Country Butcher. He had a background in the meat industry and I came from a very corporate retail environment. I believe entrepreneurship is either in you, or not. It is an urge to create something that is truly yours, that you own in every right - good and bad. We are both entrepreneurs and creative thinkers, and when we met the idea of creating a brand and shop that represented our ideals was only a matter of time. We took the leap of faith, moved to Swellendam and jumped full steam into it."
Rewards come from small things
"There are plenty of rewarding moments. I find them in the simple things. A “wow moment” from a customer. The smile on a staff member’s face after a tough day at work. Being an entrepreneur allows you the freedom to apply your energy and time into the things that matter to you, that reward in itself, is not something any company can buy."
"Challenges on the other hand are tough. Risks are high and you really have no clue how big the hill is that you are about to climb. I firmly believe in the Japanese proverb: it takes 1000 days to start a new business. Luckily we have surpassed this, our business is well established and our focus is now on growth."
Get a mentor
"I also believe that every entrepreneur, does not matter how strong your self-motivation is, should have a mentor. Someone who is objective, knowledgeable about business and that one person who helps keep you on the right track when you feel overwhelmed. Our mentor has been an amazing contributor to where we are at today."
Main focus is meat but also other local produce
"Our shop has a uniquely fresh and different look to what you would expect from a butchery. We wanted to create an open, transparent, simple look that represents what our brand stands for. There is so much trust in our brand. Just nothing to hide."
"Our main focus is meat, but we also bake artisan bread, we serve coffee to our friends and customers. We source and sell local, in-season vegetables and fruits. Pasture-raised, free-range eggs and then there's our deli and gifting items. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for all your fresh needs and, where possible, we source only the best from surrounding farms."
"We don’t offer lunch every day, however about 2 to 3 times a year we do a long table lunch or a soup day, for example. For us it is a lunch day that we can enjoy with our customers and friends, and we often introduce new product ranges at the same time."