This upcoming April is going to mark the second anniversary of the day TopFeed was born. Well, sort of. The funny thing about the world of business is that, more often than not, the idea you start with evolves into many different things as the months go by. Such was the case with us. Could you believe that our business was purely conceived originally as a marketing company? It’s true. Food distribution and online tools for farmers were completely absent from our business when we first pitched it during an entrepreneurship event in what now seems like a lifetime ago.
I was a socially awkward 26 years old at the time. Due to several life circumstances, I had done very little with the business degree I earned 3 years prior, and had gone to the event as a means to get back on that metaphorical business horse (and eventually fulfill all my dreams of fame and glory). It was there where I met the person who would become my first business partner, Vaughn. It was also there where he pitched the first concept of TopFeed: a marketing agency that would specialize in promoting different food products and services from the Island.
It was basically the same concept of supporting local, but in a completely different execution. I thought Vaughn might be onto something, so I decided to join him over that weekend to refine and exchange ideas. Why not talk for a few days? I told myself unsuspecting, as those days would turn into weeks, then into months and finally into years.
I would be lying if I said that Vaughn and I knew where to start when we decided to go into business together. We spent months and months just researching and trying to get a bigger team together and our actions often brought mixed results and a lot of headaches. But despite those things, the two of us stuck together and carried on because we believed in the idea and our vision: that the two of us could create something that would, in the end, help the producers of our Island and develop its economy.
The road was hard, but we kept note of everything we learned on the way and our perseverance eventually paid off. We found individuals, groups and partnerships that saw what we were trying to do, and they provided their help to realize our vision. The two of us eventually became three when we meet Jordan, a friendly young vegetable farmer, who shared our passion for the idea and our commitment to connect producers with the larger Island community and beyond. I don’t know if it was just plain luck or providence, but that third addition not only gave us a good friend, but the perfect missing set of skills and qualities that managed to jump that final end of the road.
All in all, it has taken us nearly two years to grow from the seed of an idea to the TopFeed that we are right now. It has not been an easy path, but words can hardly express the valuable lessons and experience that were gained on the way. We are now fully operational: we have a functional website, we have partners with products, we have orders coming in, we are building out more services, and most importantly, we have a long list of customers and followers who we are absolutely grateful for.
Every week something new and exciting is brought to our door and the three of us grow as a business. All we had to do in the end was to remain true to our goals and principles, which can be neatly summarized to: help our producers, help our customers, and help our community.