Young entrepreneurs Rebecca and Liam have created a successful business and are working hard towards making their brand even better.
It happened as a natural consequence of us having our first two pigs and selling the sausages from them to work friends, family and colleagues.
Everyone wanted more as soon as they had tried the produce so we knew there was a demand for good pork in the area and we both really enjoyed the pig keeping process.
I went onto higher education at both college and university.
At college, I studied mainly maths and sciences with a view to pursuing a career in accountancy and decided to take a business/finance course at university.
The plan was to undertake my accountancy exams after university but I decided to commit to the farm and the business full time instead as I knew there was a potential for the business to grow and wouldn’t be able to fully commit to this if I was taking my accountancy exams too.
After school, Liam started an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering with a fork lift truck company.
He stayed there right up until March 2018, at which point he also committed to the business full-time after we got our own butchery on the farm.
He pretty much had two jobs for a good few years while juggling both the business and his full time work at the firm.
No working day is ever the same really as the pigs always come first and you can never quite plan how the day will unfold!
My degree really helped when it came to actually running a business and managing its accounts wise.
Farming wise, we had to learn a lot on the job and use our own hands-on experience day in day out to learn and grow as we both have no history in farming/have a farming background.
I think we were both so passionate about growing the business and learning that we wanted to get stuck in.
We have also spent a lot of time reading and watching YouTube, documentaries and other forms of material to help consolidate our knowledge.
How loyal the customer base is and how far we have grown just by word of mouth and Facebook really.
We have hardly ever advertised and our shop days have become a community hub.
We have a strong following in the local area and it’s really heartwarming.
You need to be able to adapt to situations quickly and use what knowledge and skills you do have and apply it to the situation at the time.
You cannot really plan things, as things arise as and when and you need to be able to manage your workload around the pigs.
You also have to be prepared to get mucky, wet and cold.
I think our biggest achievement has to be the fact that we have both committed to the business full time and have our own on site butchery.
Bringing the butchery in house is something we are really proud of as again, it has taken a lot of hard work to be able to get to the point where we can both just have the business and not other jobs too.
Without any farming background, we have managed to sustain ourselves and the pigs when recent economic times have been turbulent for a lot of other pig farmers who have had to sell up because they don’t have an outlet to sustain their herd.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing any animal thrive in its environment because of the work of you do every day to look after them.
There’s no secret to it. It’s hard work, being honest, having a passion for what you do and having a strong message behind the brand.
Also, that you are always looking to improve and build upon what you have done because you’re keen for more job satisfaction.
The general public now are more keen than ever to support sustainable businesses, farming and a lifestyle in general.
I think we are starting to see a subtle shift in peoples habits and thought processes when it comes to this and always keeping in mind the environment when it comes to business is becoming more and more important.
We want to continue growth in the butchery and extend the breeding herd, whilst also maintaining our loyal following
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