MaryJanesFarm – Moscow, ID
“The SBDC team gave me much-needed advice. More important, they listened and cared. When we experienced supply-chain and cash-flow issues during the pandemic period, they were there.”
MaryJane Butters has long been passionate about a connection to the natural world and organic food and set off on her entrepreneurial journey in 1992. She wanted to help create a market for local farmers who were either interested in switching to organic methods or had already switched.
That initial passion expanded into a nationally recognized brand, MaryJanesFarm. The company’s dominant revenue line consists of organic backpacking foods and long-term storage food sold in bulk. Other product lines include her organic-lifestyle magazine, now in its 23rd year; seven lifestyle books and one children’s book; and seed stock. Rounding out the brand is a nationwide lifestyle created as a “sisterhood of farmgirls” with its own website and line of goods.
MaryJane says, “We think our success has to do with the quality of our food and the fact that we’ve stayed small and still answer our phones! Mainly, we’ve wanted to stay true to our mission statement: Big enough to deliver, small enough to care.” They brand their food by giving it personality: the very face of its originator, MaryJane Butters. MaryJane also reaches out to directly talk to customers and tells them her story in print. Many customers also subscribe to MaryJane’s magazine and buy her books along with purchasing her organic food. It’s an integrated strategy that works.
For those called to be entrepreneurs, Maryjane advises: “No matter how defeated you feel when the day is done, get up the next morning ready to continue trying. And remember, this too shall pass.”