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” m mark pollard. I m the owner co owner with my wife jerry of bred bred euphoria. We re a cafe in haydon ville massachusetts. We re small main street.
We do a tiny bit of wholesale. But were mostly retail bakery. We re in a very small community and we sort of cater everybody s needs my first career was as a museum exhibition designer. I worked in san francisco.
The real catalyst that made me change my career path was trip. We took to southern france and i was just blown away by just the way the french combined this totally modern society with this incredibly high quality food just because they had you know very modern technological society. Didn t mean that they had to make factory food when i got home that s when i decided to you know change my career path put in my resignation and i got a job at a bakery and started to learn the trade became very expensive to raise a kid in san francisco on a baker salary..
So i decided to relocate into the east. We decided the the pioneer valley of massachusetts. Had a population that would really support this kind of business and we ended up finding a bakery. We really liked six months later we purchased it and moved in it was a wholesale bakery.
It sold primarily to farmers markets. Restaurants and mom and pop stores. I ended up having to change the business model and ended up having to go into retail which in the long run was a lot better we initially financial this all by savings. We purchased the business outright with cash you know paying for everything as we went.
But when we did a major expansion of cafe. It was beyond our means bank opened a new branch in our town. And i think they wanted to make an impression in the in the town so we approached them and you know two weeks later..
We had we had our money and we established a line of credit. It takes a lot of stress out of the business. The ups and downs or the cash flow. I think people come here because the food is great i don t make anything that i don t love myself.
We use the best ingredients. We use we support local farms and use a lot of locally raised stuff. And you know it s a great place to hang out these great community here now this is a labor of love. It s a lot of work.
It s taken me nine years to actually make a dependable salary. You know most of that i ve used barter with a lot of local businesses or local. People you know i trade with farmers for vegetables and meat..
I cut cut firewood. We have a garden at home you know we live very frugally. I mean one thing. That s really helped us a lot is that we re in massachusetts and they have covered our health insurance during the time when we couldn t pay for it ourselves.
Which i think is you know really big big problem for a lot of entrepreneurs. I m now i m just where i paid for it off. We re one of the largest employers in this county and we gave 30 people full time jobs and you know we re paying taxes back into the community back into the state. I think main street s gonna kind of bounce back i think people are tired of just big box stores and sterile meaningless places.
I think more and more people realize customer service and high quality products are really. Only found on main street. They get a get tired of the big box places..
I think. It s really important to support main street businesses. Because number one we support so many other groups you know we re the people that you know send our kids to the local schools and support them we pay you know living wages. All the profits are not being siphoned off to some corporate headquarters.
They re staying here and they re being spent locally you know if you come here and you spend a dollar at dollar turns around and it s going right back into your community. ” ..
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