David Crabill: Welcome to the Forrager podcast, where I talk with cottage food entrepreneurs, about their strategies for running a food business from home
I’m David Crabill and today I’m talking with Beatrice Lattimore. Beatrice runs a small farm in Deland, Florida, and mainly sells jams and baked goods with her cottage food business, Beatz Sweets.
Beatrice started selling items at farmer’s markets in 2012. But with two very young kids, it was just a side hobby for a few years. But then in 2016, Beatrice and her husband took a big leap when they decided to move into the countryside to fulfill a dream of living off the land, they bought a home on five acres and have completely transformed it into a full functioning, small farm, where they raise animals and grow all sorts of produce.
Beatrice now uses Florida’s cottage food law to sell value added products that she produces from the items that she grows on the farm. In this episode, she shares what it’s taken to make their vision a reality.
And with that, let’s jump right into this episode. Welcome to the show Beatrice. Nice to have you here.
[00:01:01] Beatrice Lattimore: Hi. Thank you. I’m so happy you found us and I’m happy to be here as well.
[00:01:05] David Crabill: So Beatrice take us back to the beginning of Beatz Sweets. How did this all get started?
[00:01:10] Beatrice Lattimore: Um, When we freshly had kids um, I was actually working full time. My husband was working full-time I was working in a bakery. So I started baking from home and making jams and experimenting with different, like sweet things and desserts. And I started selling at my local farmer’s markets. That’s how I started off.
And from there, I was just inspired to start my own business. I’ve always wanted to own my own business, but at the same time, we were just new to having kids. We were growing our family. So we were still working. On other jobs doing the same thing.
[00:01:50] David Crabill: and so what year was this?
[00:01:52] Beatrice Lattimore: this would be 2012.
[00:01:55] David Crabill: Okay. And then you didn’t actually get the farm until a few years after that.
[00:02:00] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah, 2016.
[00:02:02] David Crabill: So you were working at a bakery, so you already had experience making this stuff, and then you just wanted to start selling it at events and markets?
[00:02:11] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah. I started selling at our local farmer’s markets and then I slowly started doing events and festivals. And then when we did decide to buy our first home that’s when it kind of made it difficult to work. Because of the small kids and they were just starting school as well. So that’s when I decided to turn Beatz Sweets into my full-time.
So my husband still worked a full-time job, but I started working from home on my own small business at that point. And we bought our home in 2016. And that is also when we started our farm, ou r homestead.
[00:02:46] David Crabill: So I saw that you had a previous culinary experience too. Like you actually took classes.
[00:02:53] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah. I went to Le cordon Bleu. It was here in Orlando. I did the baking and pastry for the associate’s degree. Then later on, I took a little break and I did the bachelor’s the online program for business. And just from there I started working. In the bakeries. I worked at the Walmart bakery, a couple of local ones, a cupcake shop. And then I worked at like a wholesale bakery.
[00:03:19] David Crabill: Yeah. So you have lots of food service experience. What do you think drove you from the beginning to pursue making.
[00:03:28] Beatrice Lattimore: Um, Ever since I was a little girl, I always enjoyed baking. I literally started with the little easy bake oven that my mom bought me. And I’ve also enjoyed selling things. I guess I’ve always been a business person. I like doing the yard sales when I was little. And just baking at home. really like decorating And using my creativity for food items.
So I like baking anything and then cake decorating. I really like to do on the side.
[00:03:57] David Crabill: And I say your husband also has culinary experience. How involved is he in the business?
[00:04:03] Beatrice Lattimore: He helps a little bit, but he also went to culinary school for cooking, but he did not finish that one. He found out working in the kitchen is not something he enjoyed anymore, but he does help me out. Like when we’re getting ready for events or like a big festival, he helps me and. He enjoys cooking like at home, but not doing it as a job for sure. He found that out.
[00:04:26] David Crabill: So take me through the years of 2012 to 2016 that’s before you actually got the farm. And I know you had a really young kids, so I’m sure it was only a side, gig, but what was the progression of your business like at that time?
[00:04:39] Beatrice Lattimore: pretty much I was working full time and then coming home to make the jams and the baked goods to prepare for the weekend farmer’s market I used to do.
[00:04:51] David Crabill: So in 2012, when you started your business I know you focus on jams right now. Is that what you started selling?
[00:04:58] Beatrice Lattimore: I mostly started selling baked goods and desserts, but um, I found out there was a lot of competition with that and farmer’s markets. So I started experimenting with different things. I started doing caramels candy, ginger, candied, citrus zest. And that was a really unique thing. I started. Trying to sell things that people weren’t selling at the farmer’s market already.
And that is how I got into the jams because when I was making the candied citrus zest, I had a lot of leftover, like the pulp of the oranges. Like, you know, the inside of the fruit. So I started making jams from there and then the local farmer’s market I was selling at didn’t have a jam vendor. So as soon as I started bringing those jams in they were selling so the customers definitely liked that.
And I just kept going from there, experimenting with different fruits and flavors.
[00:05:47] David Crabill: So were you surprised by the reception to your jams?
[00:05:52] Beatrice Lattimore: Yes, because I was brand new to making them. And I just learned from online watching other videos and people were liking them every time they taste tested them. They were very impressed and they would take a jar home. So it’s definitely something that I didn’t think about doing until I started looking for other ways to utilize the leftover ingredients I had from making other products.
[00:06:16] David Crabill: And so it stayed kind of that way for four or so years. Just you selling off and on at events and farmer’s markets before you got the farm?
[00:06:27] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah. The small business selling the desserts and all of that. And the baked goods, the bread’s inspired us to want to grow more of our own things like raise our own meat, eggs, vegetables. So that is why at the time we were renting a house that is where we were inspired to find our first home with actual land so that we can start doing that for our family as.
[00:06:49] David Crabill: what do you think was the driving factor to want to live off the land?
[00:06:54] Beatrice Lattimore: I’m not sure everybody asks us what inspired us to do that? I have a feeling that it has to do with our family backgrounds. My dad, he grew up in Costa Rica, so his family always raised their own meat and vegetables. Same thing with my mom. She came from Puerto Rico and she said over there.
Everybody worked as a community to raise their own needs and grow their own vegetables and feed their animals with their home grown vegetables. So I think I’ve had it in my blood, my husband, same thing. He his family was born here in Florida, but his grandma used to always do that. Where, when he lived with her, she used to always have fruit trees and raised some of their own meat.
So even though we didn’t grow up on a farm. We were inspired. It’s always been in our blood.
We would be considered first-generation farmers here in Florida because none of our family actually has farmland here, but they’ve always done it in their hometown.
[00:07:50] David Crabill: And that’s a big move to make, right? I mean, especially if you’re not used to it, what was the process like for learning, how to start a farm? What were you looking at in terms of property?
[00:08:02] Beatrice Lattimore: it was very difficult to find a home with land that we would get approved. As first home time buyers, but we did eventually find the right realtor that helped us out with that. And pretty much we’re six years in. We’re still learning. It’s very difficult to grow things here in Florida.
So we’re still learning about the climate and improving our soil quality. But the property that we started with was basically a blank slate. It was already. For the most part cleared land and the elderly lady that used to live here, she didn’t really use it for farming. So we basically got to start from just a fresh, clean slate.
[00:08:41] David Crabill: And how big is your.
[00:08:43] Beatrice Lattimore: We have a total of five acres about one of them is unusable it’s wetlands. So we have, I would say four, four acres that we work on.
[00:08:54] David Crabill: so the nice thing about having this farm right, was that you could just kind of continue your business incorporate your farm into the business, I guess.
[00:09:03] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah. the main idea for buying the land was because I wanted to grow. My own fruits, my own produce that I can use in my products, like having fruit trees and Berry bushes to make my jams out of, I will say that the first few years we failed with growing fruit trees. so we still ended up using a lot of store bought products for, for our jams, but we’re slowly working on it.
Again, planning more things So that eventually I have everything that I need From our own farm to make our products with
[00:09:34] David Crabill: So you said that you started with a totally blank slate, right? So you started with a blank piece of land. Where is it at now?
[00:09:41] Beatrice Lattimore: right now we are raising all kinds of animals from meat, chickens. We raised quails. We raise just a meat cow for our own family, pigs. And. And then we have multiple gardens. I have one garden reserved just for flowers and a couple just for vegetables. And right now we’re in the process of turning the front of our property into a fruit orchard so that we can make and harvest our own fruits in the future. And we have a, I would call it a storage shed that I converted into our own little shop, where I can sell my products. We have like one side of it, just for our jams. And then the other side, we sell candles and sheep’s milk soaps from our sheet milk that we collect our own selves and just some other little farm decorations.
So we have actual little farm store on property for when we do the open days, customers come and shop right from our home.
[00:10:39] David Crabill: Yeah, I saw that you had those open farm days. So when did you start that and how did that.
[00:10:46] Beatrice Lattimore: I started the open farm days. I would say a year into our farming journey because I was sharing our whole thing when we started on Facebook and a lot of people kept asking if they could come visit or if we were open to the public. And so that’s what sparked that I started doing that because people kept asking us if they could come visit. So I went ahead and started doing the open farm days and that actually worked out really good. We used to allow people to come and visit our farm and then shop from our products. So that is how we mostly started selling our products. We were still doing farmer’s markets.
We found out it was So much easier to just have people come to us. They get the farm experience and then they shop and support our business as well. And then we still did the festivals, but the open farm days definitely helped my small business.
[00:11:38] David Crabill: So did you stop doing the farmer’s markets?
[00:11:41] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah, I slowly started cutting out the farmers markets that we weren’t doing too good in. Right now we’re actually gonna start picking up a couple there’s one that just opened up close to us it’s very close to our house. So that’s pretty much the only reason I’m going to try it out. And then we mostly just do the festivals that we do really good.
So like the annual festivals, there’s a blueberry festival in Mount Dora. That’s about 30 minutes from us and we do really well there every year. So we kind of just pick and choose over the years what we have done good in and just cut out anything that we did bad.
[00:12:15] David Crabill: So obviously a blueberry festival, you’re going be bringing blueberry related items, but like for a generic festival, what do you find sells?
[00:12:23] Beatrice Lattimore: Um, Just a regular farmer’s markets And events jams for one sell good and baked items that people can just pick up and eat really quick, like muffins and cookies, stuff like that seems to sell really fast in the beginning.
[00:12:40] David Crabill: And what are you pricing your products at?
[00:12:43] Beatrice Lattimore: Our jams. I sell three different sizes. The four ounce jars, $4. Eight ounce jars, $6, and then the big 16 ounce jars. It ranges from eight to $9, depending on what fruit is in it. And then the little like muffins and cookies. I priced them around two or $3 each. And the candles is also $6 for eight ounce size.
And we do the sheep’s milk soaps for $5 a bar. And I also sell those in our Etsy shop as well for the same price.
[00:13:13] David Crabill: don’t know about your area, but those prices sound really low.
[00:13:19] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah. A lot of people say I should raise my prices, which I probably will soon because of the prices of everything. But I like to keep things affordable as well. There are people that sell things. For really top dollar. And I feel like that’s cutting out a lot of your customers. I like to keep things affordable so that more families can buy them and afford it.
And I have found that I have a lot of repeat customers because of that as well, just because. Um, More affordable to them. And then if I give them a deal on something, one week, they come back to me like a month later and buy a bunch of gifts for me. For Christmas. I find that we get a lot of repeat customers like that.
[00:13:59] David Crabill: I noticed that on your website, you say it’s very important to you to give back Can you talk a little bit about.
[00:14:08] Beatrice Lattimore: Yes. What makes me the happiest is giving back and helping other people like my small business and our farm. We don’t want to get rich from it. We really just want to be able to help people out that are in need. And we have been able to do that in the past, which is awesome. I always feel really good when somebody comes to us meeting foods or needing
anything pretty much vegetables and we’re able to help them out. And. I feel like even if I’m losing out money on gifting something, someone I feel good about it. so that’s why I do it. And in the beginning, when we were still new, we received so much help from our family donations to get our farm started.
So that is my special way of just giving back because we would not exist if it wasn’t for them. So I feel like no matter how much you give out at some point in your life is going to come back to you. If not just, it just comes back to you. It comes back to you. Threefold or two-fold.
[00:15:05] David Crabill: So with your business I think you said that your husband works full time. do you feel like you’re making a substantial amount of money with the business or are you just kind of running it more as a hobby?
[00:15:17] Beatrice Lattimore: So right now, my small business And the farm is pretty much just side income spending money, but we really want to work on, especially this year. Trying to make it our full-time income, my husband he’s tired of working for other people. So he really wants to be like me and have our own business, make our own income by ourselves.
Be completely self-employed. So that is what we’re really working on because we can do it. I’ve made a lot of money for my business, but I feel like we’re not putting our all into it. So when we put our all into it and he’s able to quit his job and we can do this full-time I feel like it can, sustain us. But right now it’s just side, income.
[00:16:01] David Crabill: And when did you leave your job? Was that when you got the.
[00:16:05] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah. when we moved here in 2016, That is when my son started kindergarten. So it made it really difficult to still work. So that is when I started doing this full-time
[00:16:18] David Crabill: I was going to say, you said that you’re not putting your all into it, but from what I can tell, you’ve done so much with your farm over the years. So I feel like you’re kind of underselling yourself with that statement.
[00:16:29] Beatrice Lattimore: yeah, we just have to work on making a bigger income so that we can actually pay our bills.
[00:16:36] David Crabill: Well, you might need to raise your prices.
[00:16:38] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:16:41] David Crabill: Yeah.
[00:16:42] Beatrice Lattimore: more seriously. And, yeah, raise the prices.
[00:16:44] David Crabill: I mean, isn’t a lot of the stuff that you’re producing organic.
[00:16:48] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah, anything that we make from our farm would be organic. Any of the produce that we sell. T he jams and the baked goods. Not really, but I do sometimes I do try to use the healthier, like unbleached flowers for the breads, and I’m slowly trying to be healthier for our own family and for our customers.
[00:17:07] David Crabill: Yeah. I mean, just based on a way that you operate and how you make everything, it feels like you could actually be selling on the premium end of things, but I understand your desire to, you know, be affordable and try to help people as much as possible.
And I also noticed that you sell like everything. I mean, on my website, I list out all of the possible foods that you can make with the cottage food law, like all non-perishable foods. It seems like your menu is that entire list.
And then at the end of it, you say, and I could make anything else if you ask. So. It’s actually really counter to what most of my guests say, which they say, you know, you want to pair down, you want to niche down your menu. So can you walk me through that decision to offer anything and everything.
[00:17:53] Beatrice Lattimore: Well, I found out that I don’t like just concentrating on thing. I get bored with it really easily. So having a very varied menu helps with my creativity and never getting bored of making the same exact thing over and over again. And also customers like it. I literally sell something for everybody, whether you’re on a diet.
And you can’t have all the baked goods. Well, you could buy a soap or a candle from us, or if you’re just looking for something to snack on or food to stock up your pantry, we have it all. So I don’t like sticking to just one thing, especially with having the farm and the cottage food business.
There’s like a never ending list of things I can sell. So I like to experiment with everything and then just find out what works, what doesn’t work. And a lot of the ideas I’ve gotten is from customers as well, asking me, can you make this or have you ever made this? And then it turns out to be a hit. So I just add it to my.
[00:18:48] David Crabill: Yeah. I mean, it’s pretty impressive how much you’re making. I can definitely understand why you say that you make something for everyone. Um, I just don’t know how you manage it all. Like, it seems like it would be so overwhelming to try to have to go out and manage all those ingredients, all those recipes.
Plus you’re running a farm, you’re raising animals. You’re growing produce. it just seems like it’d be overwhelming. And then you’re, you have young kids on top of it. How do you feel like you’re able to manage all these things?
[00:19:22] Beatrice Lattimore: Well, I’m not going to lie. Overwhelmed sometimes, especially when we are preparing for like a big event, it can get overwhelming because I homeschool the kids and my husband works full time. So I’m here doing everything, but that is another reason why we want to make this work for both of us. So we can both be at home working on this, but for now, I just take it one day at a time, try to get as much done as possible and still keep up with my kids’ schoolwork and the house duties.
The farm work doesn’t take too much of my day because I have my kids help. They’re old enough to be able to help me on that. But as for making everything, I just try to. Start as early as I can. Like if I know I have a festival coming up in a couple of months, I will start as early as possible stocking up on products as for like farm days or the smaller farmers market. It’s not too overwhelming because I just try to keep products in stock at all times. It’s just, when we get ready for the big events, it does get a little overwhelming.
[00:20:21] David Crabill: So what’s like the biggest event that you’ve gone to.
[00:20:25] Beatrice Lattimore: most successful one for us is that blueberry festival, that one we sell for two days straight and both days we always end up selling out of products. Like no matter how much blueberry jam I make, I always sell out. I don’t know how much I have to make in order to not sell out.
[00:20:44] David Crabill: Do you know how many people attend that event?
[00:20:47] Beatrice Lattimore: They say about 200,000 and then they also have the Mount Dora craft festival, but we didn’t do too well on that one. I think it was just too many vendors So I think it was just too much vendor competition. So we didn’t do that well, but the blueberry festival seems to do good every single year.
[00:21:04] David Crabill: So if you’re doing it both days, what, time are you selling?
[00:21:10] Beatrice Lattimore: On Saturdays. We usually sell out by 11. It starts at nine in the morning. So by the end of the day, we’ll really just have some candles and soaps to sell. We would have sold out of all the baked goods and the jams. And then Sunday, it tends to be a little bit slower, but we usually do sell out. It ends at five. So we sell out around three in the afternoon.
[00:21:32] David Crabill: So you could actually do a lot better at those events. If you just were able to make more of your.
[00:21:38] Beatrice Lattimore: Yes. And if there was more of those events locally, that would be good too. They’re hard to find I’ve signed up for like the watermelon festival strawberry festival, but some of them don’t do as well as this one.
[00:21:51] David Crabill: So I just trying to get a sense, like how much product are you actually bringing to that event and selling out in a couple hours
[00:22:00] Beatrice Lattimore: If I remember last year for the Saturday, I baked about 50. I believe about a hundred of the blueberry muffins. And then I had to have brought about eight or nine dozen. And that’s how much I sold out in the first day for just those three categories. But then I also bring blueberry soaps, blueberry candles, and some other blueberry.
[00:22:25] David Crabill: So at the events um, you know, I know obviously you’re selling the blueberry jam at the blueberry festival, but what jam flavors have been the best at the farmer’s markets?
[00:22:37] Beatrice Lattimore: I’ve done really good with spicy ones. I do one called tropical heat. It’s mango pineapple papaya. And then I put like the hot pepper flakes in it. So people really like the spicy and sweet ones that they can eat with. Crackers and cream cheese. And then other than that, the basic one, like just plain strawberry jam sells really good.
usually people don’t, don’t like trying the new flavors.
[00:23:03] David Crabill: so is there anything that you’ve brought to the market and it hasn’t sold well and you just stopped selling.
[00:23:11] Beatrice Lattimore: Things like cupcakes, cake pops. For some reason, I don’t do really good with it. People like the more rustic things breads and just the simple baked goods. Anything that reminds you of like homesteading and like a little cottage farm. I feel like people are more drawn to buying at the farmer’s markets and festivals like that. Not too much of the decorated, colorful things.
[00:23:35] David Crabill: So. Let’s go into a little bit about how you’ve promoted stuff. Cause I know you’re really active on Facebook, YouTube, et cetera. So I don’t even know how you have time to do that as well. but how have you promoted your business?
[00:23:49] Beatrice Lattimore: Facebook has been the number one way. I promote things. I started sharing things from the very beginning on there. So people have kind of followed our story from the beginning and I try to share everything on there. No matter what I’m doing. I am sharing it with them. If I’m thinking about a new product or if we’re doing something new on our farm, I’m always posting it on their Instagram.
I started not too long ago, so I noticed I don’t get too many views on that one. And YouTube, I also started about two years into. Business journey and farming. So I try to stay as consistent as I can on there, but I’m still trying to reach my subscriber count on there so we can Actually be monetized and earn money from that.
But for now, Facebook has been number one, whenever I’m doing an event, I post it on there as an event, even paid for ads on Facebook before, and those have done really good. So I recommend that if you’re not getting a lot of views,
[00:24:47] David Crabill: Actually most people don’t say that ads do well. So you’ve found success with it.
[00:24:52] Beatrice Lattimore: Yes. In the beginning, when we first started our page, we used to get a lot of views, a lot of traffic to our Facebook page. And then I found over the years, for some reason, it just completely died down. So I started doing the ads every now and then not too much. And I noticed I started getting views again, only on the ones I’m posting ads on.
Which kind of sucks, but when I do need a boost in views, I pay for the ads.
[00:25:17] David Crabill: And how much are you putting into the.
[00:25:19] Beatrice Lattimore: Not too much, maybe $15. I don’t put too much on.
[00:25:24] David Crabill: so I know you’re really active on your YouTube channel, too. You’re posting videos all the time and can see some videos have really taken off. So that’s like a whole another job to try to create YouTube videos. And some of them are very well edited. why do you put so much time into the YouTube?
[00:25:42] Beatrice Lattimore: I like putting the recipe. I put some of my recipes and like tutorials on how to do things on YouTube, just to teach other people how to do things from their own home. A lot of people feel like they can’t do something or they’re not good enough to do something. So I like to put those videos out there so they can learn too, because that’s how I learned by watching YouTube?
And then I like sharing our farm any farm videos as well for the same thing to inspire people, to want to grow their own food, raise their own animals. Start their own business just to inspire people. a lot of people have told me that my videos have inspired them to want to do the same thing or have given them the motivation to start their own business.
So that is my main goal from it. That’s why I don’t worry too much that we’re not monetized now because I know in the future we will be, and that will actually help with our income. But at the same time, in the meantime, I’m helping all these people out with just encouragement and inspiration.
[00:26:42] David Crabill: Yeah, I did actually see a few of the videos and I saw a comment where someone said that you, you know, they delayed their business for the longest time until t hey saw your videos and then that got them off their butt and actually out and got their license to doing the same thing. So that’s, that’s pretty cool.
And you said that you, are getting close to being able to monetize it. And I know you have to hit certain thresholds with YouTube to get to that point. How close are you to.
[00:27:08] Beatrice Lattimore: I’m, I’m about at 800 something. You need a thousand subscribers, and then you need a certain amount of watch. But as long as I hit that thousand subscribers, I’ll worry about the watch hours later definitely promote my videos more for people to actually watch them. But I’m pretty close. It’s been, I think, about three years now. So I knew it was going to be a long journey, but I’m almost there.
[00:27:30] David Crabill: All right. So if, uh, some of the people listening to this podcast go and follow your YouTube channel, we might get you that to that
1000 subscriber count. Uh, and I’ll put a link to your YouTube channel in the show notes. I also saw that you did a giveaway on your YouTube channel. And so you’re collaborating with another company, I guess. So how did that.
[00:27:54] Beatrice Lattimore: giveaway. They basically had to watch our video And then They had to comment what their favorite thing about fall was. So that entered them into a contest to win some of my products. I believe I gave away candles and soaps on that one.
So that helps your channel grow as well because people subscribe to your channel and they’re looking forward to the announcement of the giveaway winner. And it also opens up a whole new world of other subscribers and other YouTube channels because you follow each other’s channels, they follow yours. So it helps your channel slowly grow.
[00:28:30] David Crabill: And then also on the uh, publishing front, I see that you have an email newsletter as well. Has that been a really helpful tool for getting word out about what you’re doing with the.
[00:28:42] Beatrice Lattimore: So the email newsletter, I started that because I saw another farm page that somehow their Facebook page just disappeared. They had a really big following and they just disappeared off the face of the.
planet. Facebook wouldn’t explain why or anything. And they had to restart over and restart their whole page.
So that kind of made me afraid. So I started inviting people to my email newsletter. It’s still pretty small. I only have like 40 subscribers and I basically give them announcements before I posted on our Facebook page. but it is a good like backup plan so that I don’t lose all my customer’s information if something were to happen in the future. So I like to have it as just a safety net just in case.
[00:29:26] David Crabill: So I see on your website, it says that the vision for your farm is to be a farm where you can see food being grown right before your eyes. and you also said that last year, you and your husband determined that all of your goals had been met with the farm. Can you explain that?
[00:29:45] Beatrice Lattimore: So we first started our farm just as a place where we can grow things for our own family. So kind of experimenting, growing herbs, vegetables, seeing the animals that we liked raising. So in 2021, we decided we wanted to. Serve more to the community. So we actually got our license to be able to process chickens and sell chicken, eggs, and whole chickens or any poultry to customers.
We’re slowly working on expanding our garden so that we can actually sell produce to people that is something people are always looking for and asking us about. We just never have enough vegetables to share with them. So we’re working on expanding on that. And slowly, maybe even expand on offering more meats to the public.
There are certain laws and things that we have to follow here in Florida, but eventually we’d like to offer lamb, pork and beef to the public, but for now the poultry is keeping us busy enough for that?
[00:30:45] David Crabill: And you mentioned earlier that you sell on Etsy. So can you talk a little bit about your Etsy shop and how that’s.
[00:30:52] Beatrice Lattimore: I’ve had an Etsy shop for a while, actually sold like very random crafts and jewelry. Back in the beginning when I was way younger, but when we started the beat sweets I couldn’t sell food products on there in the beginning with the Florida cottage food law. So I sold my candles. So, and then farm decor, So that did good for a while, but I think it was 2021 Florida changed the cottage food law over here. And we’re actually allowed to sell the food products online. So when I started listing the jams, caramels, candy, ginger, things like that on Etsy That’s pretty much all I sell now And that’s been doing good.
[00:31:33] David Crabill: Yeah. Well, I see you have hundreds of sales on there, so it looks like it’s been pretty good. And yeah, it was last year that Florida passed the law and they’re one of the only states. Now that specifically says that it’s allowed to not only sell online and ship, but ship anywhere in the nation.
So uh, you’re really fortunate to be in one of the only states that has that so far.
[00:31:54] Beatrice Lattimore: I was excited about that.
[00:31:55] David Crabill: And how was it in terms of getting started under the cottage food law? Because you’re probably started when Florida’s cottage food law was.
[00:32:05] Beatrice Lattimore: it was pretty easy for me to start. they make it very simple. As long as you follow the, the food categories that you’re supposed to sell and avoid the ones you’re not. And the labeling, I find it very simple.
Like there’s, there’s nothing to it. You don’t need a special permit or anything. You can just start it right away. So that was the easiest route for us. As long as we stick to the things that we’re allowed to sell, which I enjoy making the things that we’re allowed to sell anyway. So it works out for our business.
[00:32:34] David Crabill: Did you in your area have to get some kind of license for the.
[00:32:38] Beatrice Lattimore: I registered my farm with the county, and then for the chicken, for selling chicken, we did have to have an inspection of the processing area and all of that.
[00:32:49] David Crabill: And so I know that you’re trying to take this into being a full-time thing. And he said you wanted to do that this year.
[00:32:56] Beatrice Lattimore: Yeah. I like to get my husband to just enjoy life again, because he’s really down about having to work for somebody else. He really wants to be completely self-employed And I feel like we could definitely do it together. If not this year, then that’s at least a two year plan to just be completely self-employed with the help of our Beatz Sweets business and also the farm.
think it could definitely be done. We just have to work harder and put ourselves out there more, go to more places and sell and do more events here on our farm too, to get more people. to learn more about us because we’re kind of in the middle of nowhere, so we kind of have to go out to the customers and invite them to our farm so they can know where.
[00:33:40] David Crabill: what will be the point at which you decide. He can leave his job. Like what will be the breaking point?
[00:33:46] Beatrice Lattimore: Well right now, it’s pretty much selling what he makes with his income. So the moment that we are selling that much every week or every month, it would be safe to say for him that he can quit And we can just do this. Full-time
[00:34:03] David Crabill: and I noticed that it looked like your faith has a lot to do with your motivation with the farm. I saw a number of Bible quotes on your website. that a big part of the inspiration for building this.
[00:34:16] Beatrice Lattimore: Yes, that is a very big part of it. We are very faith-based. Although we don’t attend church very often. I just wake up every morning and thank God for another day and just listen to his word. And that’s how I get a lot of my answers. When I am confused about something about the next decision I have to make for our business, I always seek god’s advice and always try to read the word. So, he speaks to me and you pretty much already has our path written out for us. We just have to be quiet and listen. And I feel like a lot of the times we try to do something away from his path. That’s when things go wrong or we start failing.
But at the end of the day, he has our story written. So I always try to. Make sure. I put him in everything and every decision that we make and I make it publicly known as well on our social media, always give people words of encouragement. And just sharing the word with them as well, because a lot of people need.
[00:35:16] David Crabill: What was a specific time when you felt like you had to reach out to God for an answer?
[00:35:21] Beatrice Lattimore: For a while, I had to take a break on opening the farm. I needed to step back. to really focus on what it is that he wanted us to do. To be very specific, we had a lot of animals that weren’t really doing much for us.
They were just really big pets. So I feel like as soon as we got rid of those, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. We didn’t have the stress of having to feed those specific animals and their vet care and all of that. So that is a time that I seek God’s guidance in helping us decide what it is that we have to do to make our lives a little bit less stressful.
And we took a break on. Allowing people on our farm for a while just to work on projects here on her own and proving our property a little bit to make it safer for guests. Yeah, well, I mean, it’s just amazing to see where you’ve come. I mean, there’s not too many people that make that decision, make that leap of faith to move their whole lives out to the country to start a farm, but you’ve really done it. I mean, what does it feel like to, you know, have had this vision, what five, six years ago, and to be where you are.
It is amazing. Like every time I drive into our driveway, I still can’t believe that we’re here and we turn this property into what it is now. Since we started it from such a blank slate. it feels really cool to also have documented all of that on YouTube and on Facebook, because I like to go back and look at pictures of when we first started, it’s motivational for my own self.
Just to see how far we’ve come and the times that. We feel like we can’t do this anymore. We don’t want to, we just look back at the pictures of how we started and it re inspires us to continue reaching for our dreams and what we want to do in the future.
[00:37:09] David Crabill: Well, it’s pretty cool to see where you’ve come. And as you said, it is well-documented on Facebook and YouTube. Um, So I encourage people to check those out. So if people want to learn more about, you, where can they find you or how can they reach.
[00:37:23] Beatrice Lattimore: The best way would be Facebook. You just type in our vision farm. It should pop up on there. It’s actually our vision farm and Beatz Sweets because I post about both on there. And then our Instagram is also ourvisionfarm_beatzsweets, and then the YouTube. is our vision farm. You just type that in there and we should pop up.
And then our website is www.beatzsweets.com .
[00:37:49] David Crabill: Yeah, and I will put links to those all down in the show notes. So it will be easy for people to find them. But yeah, it was cool to hear about your journey. And about your path towards living off the land. And I just appreciate you coming on and sharing with us today.
[00:38:07] Beatrice Lattimore: Well, thank you. It was fun.
[00:38:12] David Crabill: That wraps up another episode of the forger podcast.
For more information about this episode, go to forrager.com/podcast/ 58
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And finally, if you’re thinking about selling your own homemade food, check out my free mini course, where I walk you through the steps you need to take to get a cottage food business off the ground to get the course, go to cottage food course.com.
Thanks for listening. and I’ll see you in the next episode.