Charmaine’s Success Story in Nowra NSW.
Can you see the benefit of food businesses collaborating? We believe that this not only helps businesses grow, It also benefits customers.
We have seen this many times, and this is one example. Last month, Charmaine, the owner of “Touch of Charm”, who also has an online shop selling her flowers and homegrown veg on the Food Markies local online market, had her products for sale on our Nowra Fresh Food Market stall. As I looked over her display of fresh flowers and eggs and veg, I noticed her range had grown and quite surprisingly, she had another brand of eggs next to hers. As the afternoon progressed, I saw that she put equal effort into promoting both brands of eggs, her homegrown grown flowers and her online shop to the market customers. Charmaine then shared her inspiring story about how her business grew beyond her backyard to some land at Nowra Hill, working with another business rather than against them.
We also learned that the business Charmaine was collaborating with also had a stall that day, and they had Charmaine’s eggs on their market stall. This meant an added benefit to customers: if they missed out on buying from Charmaine, they could still purchase her eggs at the other end of the market.
This method of business collaboration reminds us of how the Igbo tribe in Nigeria work together as a network to grow small retail businesses into large, successful enterprises that become major distributors, exporters, or importers of products they specialise in.
Charmaine’s story is truly inspiring, and Australian small businesses can adopt this strategy to become more resilient. Here is Charmaine’s story in her own words.
Hi! My name is Charmaine, and I am a small business owner who grows and sells flowers, eggs and vegetables in my backyard. But when I found myself running out of space, I turned to Facebook and asked if anyone had an acre or so of land locally that I could rent. I was shocked and pleased that many people were willing to help me out! The Shoalhaven really is a very supportive community.
Netty responded to my request and offered me a place in Nowra Hill. Since then, Netty and I have been collaborating on a new venture called Ohana Meadows, where we are growing more flowers, vegetables and chickens. We’ve also invested in sheep and pigs together.
What I love about this venture is that we were both on the same page straight away! It can be hard starting things yourself, but working together is amazing. Each of us has different strengths which enhance the work together.
Our ultimate goal is to have a garden stall, hold market days to allow other growers and makers to share their amazing products and one day host beautiful weddings.
Our dream is for Ohana Meadows to be self-sustainable while creating a place where people can buy local homegrown produce that’s good for both them and the environment.
Times are tough at the moment, between financial issues and the lack of rain- and Netty and I still have a long way to go, but if people work together, we will survive this hard time and grow something more beautiful than we imagined.