The story of how my organic business began

Organic Box

I always have ideas for starting businesses, usually they are just throw-away ideas, but this organic idea was sticking, not just with me but with my wife Sarah. At the time we had an 8 month old baby and were very precious about what we fed him (we still are and he is now 9 years old!). We always liked the idea of organic food, we just didn’t like the higher price. With a baby our mindset changed. We were happy to pay the premium, now and then, if we knew little Charlie was getting good nutrition.

One lunch time in May 2005, I was reading this article  about Abel and Cole, an organic home delivery service in London. Starting very small, selling spuds door-to-door driving a ‘knackered van’. Jumping to 15 years later, they were delivering 20,000 boxes of organic veggies a week.

I was inspired as I was reading, not just by the rags to riches story, but I loved the business concept and I wanted to used this service. It was then I realised there was absolutely nothing like this in Melbourne (my home town). I forwarded the link to Sarah mentioning that we could do this. When I got home from work, Sarah told me that it was all she had been thinking about all day.

After we had discussed the possibilities of this idea we were really enthused to take it further. At the time, Sarah had a little training business and had spent time with a mentor writing a business plan for it. We used this as a template to write a business plan for our organic food business idea.

The business plan, it turned out, was essential. I recommend that if you are starting a business you need to write a Business Plan. There are many things you can never plan for, and when running a small business you learn by doing. But writing this plan, gave us a clear directions and showed us that this really was a viable business. We sent it to trusted advisors for their input who were able to see the whole picture and give us valuable advice.

Most of all the Business Plan inspired us to take the next step, it helped us to know the what the next step was and to begin building our business. We began trading in May 2006, it took us a year from the initial idea to the launch.

Next Post: Writing a Business Plan

Why an Organic Food Business Blog?

Organic Bag

I have always wanted to blog about something, never really knowing what that something is, or feeling really passionate about that something, to do something about it.

My excuse is that I have been to busy with running a business, being a husband or being a dad. But then I thought I could blog about at least one of these things. I am very passionate about all of them!

I have realised recently, that over the past 7 years I have started and grown an organic food business – from a little idea in my head to a sustainable profitable business (alot of credit also goes to my wife Sarah who has helped with that too). 7 years does sound a long time, running a business, especially when 60% of Australian small businesses fail in the first 3 years. If that’s the case I could almost be considered a small business guru 😉

I have 7 years of knowledge and experience in the highs and low of running an organic food enterprise. It’s a very niche subject; how many people out there are actually going to startup an organic food business!?

But my experience can be shared with any budding entrepreneur, as a lot of the principles I have learnt can be applied to any small business startup. Over the years I have sought advice from other business owners, who are in completely unrelated fields, so hopefully there will be something here for all wannabe business owners.

I am still on the journey too, learning and experiencing new stuff all the time which can be shared with everyone. By blogging, hopefully I can create a network of other (organic food) business owners where we can share our experiences.

So I hope you will join me on this journey.