Pivoting to Fill a Niche With a Unique Skill Set – Carrot Cashflow Episode 30


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Episode Summary

Many people start market gardening in the hopes of becoming an established farm that consistently provides fresh, local food to their community. But what if that niche is already filled and there are already a lot of other people doing what you want to do? You can certainly try keeping at it. Or you can pivot and lean on your other skills to fill a different niche.

In this episode of Carrot Cashflow, we’ve invited Bruce Young of Blue Gate Farm in Warren, Connecticut to talk about their journey into small-scale farming as well as how they shifted gears from growing vegetables to raising animals, and finally, to successfully selling bread at a booming farmer’s market.

Today’s Guest: Bruce Young

Having previously worked as a professional musician and chef, and having lived in multiple places, Bruce now runs Blue Gate Farm in Warren, Connecticut with wife Yobana. Apart from growing fruits and vegetables, as well as raising pastured chicken and beef, they also sell various breads and baked goods all year round.

Relevant Links

            Blue Gate Farm CTWebsite | Instagram

In this episode of Carrot Cashflow

  • Diego introduces the episode’s guest, Bruce Young (00:56)
  • Bruce Young and Blue Gate Farm in Northwestern Connecticut (02:07)
  • What started Bruce and Yobana with farming (02:48)
  • How and where Bruce found their farm’s niche (04:56)
  • Some advice on finding your own niche (06:05)
  • Why not go straight to the larger market? (09:28)
    • Reservations about entering a larger market (11:00)
  • What it was like quitting a job to enter an unknown market (12:35)
    • Realizing that the niche in the market was the bread (13:29)
  • How much a bread baker can sell at a market (14:44)
  • What a week looks like preparing to sell bread on a Saturday farmer’s market (17:20)
  • Pivoting from the original vision of the business (20:30)
  • Getting fulfillment from the farm and the baking aspect (22:19)
  • How profitable is a baked good? (23:28)
  • The equipment needed to do baked goods at volume (26:13)
  • Where do the profits from the baked goods go? (28:31)
    • The goal of Blue Gate Farm as a business (29:26)
  • Bruce Young and his thoughts on starting where you are with what you have (30:57)
  • If another perfect market came in to knock on the door (34:13)
  • Learning (and getting good at) saying no to people (37:39)
  • How easy is it for bread to get into a market? (38:59)
  • Coming up and handling a bread CSA (43:20)
  • The benefits of having a core product line to bring to market (45:54)
  • It’s the little moments that success looks like for Bruce Young (48:39)
  • How Bruce views the work he does and how it blends into their financial goals (50:26)
  • What Bruce would tell a 25-year-old about careers (52:25)
  • Where to find and follow along with Bruce Young and Blue Gate Farm (54:20)

Subscribe to Carrot Cashflow in your favorite podcast player:

iTunes | Spotify

Check Out My Book: Ready Farmer One: The Farmers’ Guide to Create, Design, and Market an Online Farm Store (2022) by Diego Footer & Nina Galle

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Arielle Roxas

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