They operate a well-run business that has developed and maintained a great reputation throughout the local region they serve. As she was carefully moving my purchase from the display basket to a box I asked Traci, their cheerful produce stand operator, if the people who started the venture were still around.
I was delighted to here that Jake and Lenny began operating the produce stand business when they were just youngsters after their father gave them charge of a small piece of farmland. Two generations earlier their grandfather had started Harward farms, but now their once-little produce division has expanded to nearly thirty roadside stands throughout Utah.
Lesson: Start young. I love this lesson. I started a business when I was 15 years old and was dabbling in entrepreneurial ventures even before then. I work a lot with businesses in remote, rural communities and have learned that long-term, stable growth typically comes from within - meaning local startups. The key: teach kids (beginning in elementary school) to value innovation and entrepreneurship. Of course, it also doesn't hurt if they know how to work.
Lesson two: Business models are adaptable. With the right business model, even as other family farm operations are threatened by the move to large-scale, commodity-style production, the small agriculture business can thrive.
Congratulations Haward Farms!