Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jen Riemer, co-founder of Riemer Family Farm, located in Brodhead, WI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Riemer Family Farm is a diversified, grass-fed livestock ranch that sells crave-worthy meats directly to families across the upper Midwest. Our customers are people who are conscious of the food they eat and its impact on the environment. They value great taste, animal welfare, and the world around them.
Tell us about yourself
My husband Bryce and I began really evaluating our food choices when our first daughter was born. We wanted only healthy foods for her and realized that making good meat choices was really difficult. Our desire to move back to the family farm and renew the land combined with our passion for our family's health led us to raise our animals in accordance with nature. We continue to be motivated by producing the highest quality grass-based meats available. Our customers appreciate the care that goes into each animal. Our hard work pays off in an amazing finished product that our customers enjoy around the dinner table.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, our biggest accomplishment is that we have made it 12 years in a really tough industry! The most satisfying accomplishment is getting pictures and comments from our customers and their children with gratitude and excitement for really tasty meat. One of my favorite moments was when a sweet three-year-old boy who was the son of a customer came up to me and said, "farmer Jen, we just love your bacon!" I think to this little boy I was some sort of celebrity because I got to drive tractors!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
All of the unknowns! As a farmer, we deal with the unknowns of weather, price fluctuations in our supply chain, and sourcing issues. As direct marketers, we deal with difficulty in predicting what customers want and need at what time. Customer retention is pretty good, but continuing to keep them engaged and loyal is always a trick. The most strategic way to spend our marketing dollars has been a big topic for us recently. We are competing against businesses with sub-par products but big marketing budgets. Greenwashing has definitely been difficult as many companies make claims that their meats are similar to ours when really they are far from it, but they charge a much lower price and confuse customers.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start your business with more capital than you think you will need.
- Be idealistic but patient. Change and improvement often come much slower than you would like, especially in food and farming.
- Be authentic: know who you are, what your business stands for, and speak to the customers that are looking for you.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Visit our website to learn more visit this link to a podcast we recorded in March 2022 with Real Food Brands. We shared all about our brand strategy development. https://www.realfoodbrands.com/2022/03/106-how-riemer-family-farm-is-growing-a-regenerative-brand/
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.