In this feature, we gathered 16 young business owners in the food, farm or beverage industry that are establishing a brand in the FLX. We sent each one the same list of 10 questions. Below are their answers. We hope you enjoy learning about and supporting these local entrepreneurs!
Dave & Carly of Food and Ferments
2. What’s your biggest challenge in being a young business owner in the FLX?
D – Being further from family (who are mostly in the Philadelphia region), as well as just surviving the initial small business crunch – surviving past the first few years.
C- Prioritizing how to best spend my time (everything can seem urgent!) and making sure to take time to connect with fellow business owners and friends, even if it means driving 20 or 30 minutes to a gathering.
3. What’s your favorite local comfort food after a long, day of hard work?
D – If it’s before I feel like cooking, a regular go-to is pita chips and hummus. Otherwise, to feel good, it’s often some sort of fresh seafood, or some other balanced home-cooked meal!
C- A PB&J with Hiedelberg Bread and Hunter & Hilsberg Tart Cherry Preserves, washed down with a big glass of organic milk from the family farm I grew up on.
4. Favorite piece of business advice?
D – Think thrifty, and leap. Know everything will cost more and take longer than you think. Take time to step back and to relax; make sure you’re enjoying your whole life.
C- “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future…Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.” This quote from Steve Jobs has always resonated with me, bolsteringing me in times of uncertainty.
5. Why do you run your business here?
D – It’s a great area! Lots of great small biz things happening, and lots of great nature to be soaked up. Just far enough and just close enough to a couple major cities, but not nearly the same traffic and other headaches that can come with city living. And for an added bonus, we have a good handful of family and friends all nearby.
C- It is my home, for me nothing else compares to the land and stories central New York evokes for me. The sense of community is incredible and the views from our hilltop kitchen make going to work quite worth it.
6. Who’s your hero?
D – I guess Batman. He’s dark & mysterious, but a realistic hero, human, yet using his resources and talents for good, fighting crime and other evils of the world (more specifically Gotham).
C- Kathie Arnold. A pioneering, local organic dairy farmer and activist who lives next door to us here in Truxton. She also happens to be my mom.
7. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
D – Probably some pop/rock star/performer.
C- A dairy farmer, or an owner of a vegetable stand.
8. At what age do you think you will retire?
D – I think somewhere near the traditional 65 mark sounds about right, but if it was a wee bit sooner, that’d be totally fine too.
C- Retire?! I like to think that this lifestyle isn’t something I will retire from, as much as slowly evolving it to meet our needs over the years.
9. Describe yourself in 3 words.
D – Creative, caring, survivalist.
C- Optimistic. Creative. Nature lover.
10. In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?
D – A grand piano that always stay in tune, an endless supply of solid paper and ink, candles, and some good red wines, breads & cheeses that never go bad.
C- (Great question!) Notebook and pen (journaling and to do lists for days), a wool cardigan (I’m always cold) and my Pandora App, the afterlife without music just wouldn’t be as sweet!
11. If you had to choose a completely new career, what would it be?
D – Life coach or survivalist leader.
C- Perhaps a certified Konmari Consultant, helping others transform their homes (you know, “Does it spark joy?”). We did the method a few years ago and it has changed the way I approach the possessions in our home and business in powerful ways.
12. What would the book or movie about your life be titled?
D – Surviving, and Food.
C- Back Home Again: The Journey of A Farmers Daughter
14. Local businessperson who inspires you?
D – My wife & her family – hard working local organic dairy farmer family for decades.
C- Allan Gandelman and Bobcat at Main Street Farms in Cortland, NY. As friends and local farmers, they have been an incredible support as our business has grown and have inspired us in countless ways.
A version of this article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 edition of the magazine.