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EP 36 From Farm Girl to Entrepreneur: The Founder Story of Maartje Murphy

 

Have you ever thought about which lessons and philosophies you learned in childhood you can echo and apply to your entrepreneurial journey today? For Maartje Murphy, Founder of Cows & Co Creamery in Carrington, North Dakota, spending her childhood on a dairy farm set the foundation for an entrepreneurial future incorporating agriculture, family, and her Dutch heritage.

 

On this Persevere Podcast, Patty Post of Checkable Health welcomes Maartje as she shares her insights, challenges, and successes. Wondering what more she could do with the rich resource she had in milk and cream, Maartje was inspired to create delicious, decadent gelato and cheeses like the ones she had growing up in the Netherlands.

 

Duchessa Gelato was born in 2018 and quickly put dairy farmers (and North Dakota) on the map when Maartje was included on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Top 100 Entrepreneurs list in 2020.

 

Tune in to hear the inspirational founder story of Maartje Murphy, from farm girl to entrepreneur, as she shares her story from the early days of Duchessa Gelato and Cows & Co—from a tiny garage processing facility to a wedding gelato cart and beyond. Maartje shares why it’s difficult for dairy farmers to take a vacation, what it takes to quit your day job to become a full-time entrepreneur, and what you stand to learn from your mistakes as a founder.

 

Topics discussed in this episode:

 

  • What the title ‘Farm Girl to Entrepreneur’ means to Maartje
  • The vital role Maartje’s family plays in the business
  • Insight into the heavy workload that comes with farm life
  • A look at Maartje’s gelato journey
  • Taking the leap to become a full-time entrepreneur
  • The significance of making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list
  • What you can learn from your mistakes as a founder
  • Why it’s crucial to stay organized as a business owner
  • What the future holds for Cows & Co

 

Visit cowsandcocreamery.com to learn more about

Maartje’s delicious dairy products.

 

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with Maartje:

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You can also follow the Duchessa Gelato journey on Instagram here!

 

Connect

with Persevere Podcast:

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You can also find Patty Post on LinkedIn!

 

Connect with Checkable Health:

https://www.facebook.com/CheckableHealth/

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Transcript: 

 

0:00:02.7 S1: Welcome to the Persevere Podcast, powered by Checkable Medical, and hosted by Patty Post, a female founder, entrepreneur, wife and mother of three, doing all of the things. The strength to persevere in business is powered by passion, grit and hard work. The Persevere Podcast is for entrepreneurs and business leaders who set out to innovate and change the world with their ideas. Whether it's fundraising your startup, product development, marketing, branding, or scaling your existing business, this podcast is for you. We'll discuss everything it takes to persevere and build the business you've always dreamed of. Let's make it happen. Welcome to the Persevere Podcast. We help founders create awesome products and help you not run out of money. Hello, I'm Patty Post, founder and CEO of Checkable Health. And I started this podcast because I was experiencing loneliness and solitude as a solo founder, and I literally had no one to turn to, and I also couldn't find relevant content that founders of high-tech startups really needed, so like the true entrepreneur that I am, I decided to do it myself. And thus, was born the Persevere Podcast. So if you're new to this podcast, I love to interview entrepreneurs and hear about their stories of how they built their business. I love to hear how they persevered through those challenging times and the lessons that they learned. If this is the first time that you're listening or if you're a regular guest, I would really appreciate a five-star rating as well as subscribing to this podcast.

 

0:01:46.9 S1: So this podcast today, I'm interviewing a true entrepreneur that started as a dairy farmer. She actually grew up on a dairy farm, and she was inspired through her life lessons that I wanna be a dairy farmer too, but an idea of could I do something better? Meaning, could I create gelato? Could I create cheese? What else can I do with this wonderful product that I have in milk and cream? And that's exactly what she's doing. My guest is Maartje Murphy, and she is founder of Cows and Co. in Carrington, North Dakota, which is a small town in the middle of North Dakota. And she makes absolute decadent gelato and cheeses that are absolutely authentic. She is trained, she has the facility that makes it authentic and delicious. So today we're gonna talk about her story as well as what she plans to do. She's had some great recognitions and coincidentally, she started out in healthcare, which I love, as an emergency department nurse. So with that, I hope you are inspired by the story with Maartje and let's get into it with Maartje Murphy, founder of Cows and Co. Maartje, welcome to The Persevere Podcast.

 

0:03:08.7 S2: Thank you so much for having me. I'm honored.

 

0:03:11.1 S1: You are so welcome. Your business is Cows and Co., and located in Carrington, North Dakota. Beautiful Carrington, North Dakota

 

0:03:20.6 S2: Kind of in the middle of nowhere. But it's a hidden gem.

 

0:03:25.1 S1: I love it, and I was just saying, we are going to take a road trip up to see you because it has turned into a destination.

 

0:03:32.1 S2: Yeah, absolutely, we're not open very often, so when we're open, we have 400 to 500 people coming to the creamery. But it's a good problem, we just have a really small space and I think we're ready to expand, but... You know how that goes. You can never move fast enough.

 

0:03:48.3 S1: I know it's like you have to be a visionary, but then you have present that you need to work on the operation, right?

 

0:03:55.6 S2: Yep, absolutely. It's like you have all these dreams, but it's a little hard to look forward when there's things day-to-day that you have to take care of. I never know what I'm doing tomorrow, so it's hard for me to look ahead sometimes.

 

0:04:09.3 S1: That's a great problem to have, though. That's what keeps us going as sort of the fuel to our fire as entrepreneurs.

 

0:04:15.6 S2: Yeah, absolutely. 

 

0:04:18.1 S1: So the title is farm girl to entrepreneur, and you are a true farm girl. Tell us what that means to you.

 

0:04:25.3 S2: Yeah, I am the youngest of three. I have two older brothers, originally from the Netherlands, and we were dairy farmers there. So both my parents’ parents...so my grandparents were dairy farmers, so my parents grew up in the farm life and then obviously they loved it, and then wanted their kids to grow up in the farm life, so that's what happened. And so I think actually, I was born at home, in the house in the Netherlands, and I think like 30 minutes before I came, my mom was feeding the calves, so I started off almost in the barn, I should say that. So cool. Yeah, so we watched my parents work on the farm from the day I was born, and it's just been an honor to watch them work together as a couple and then see their hard work. And then I guess it kind of runs through your blood, 'cause I always would say, I don't think I wanna work all the time like my parents did, and now here I am working all the time, so it must just be something that you can't stop yourself from doing. But yeah, it's lots of challenges, we moved to two different countries, so we were dairy farmers in the Netherlands, and then we moved to Canada when I was seven, and we were dairy farmers there, so just watching my parents at a pretty young age pick up their family and move across the ocean and start, not a whole new business, but a different, I guess from scratch, and then we lived there for eight years and moved to Carrington, North Dakota in 2008, and they did the same thing, started another dairy farm.

 

0:05:53.7 S2: So it's been beautiful to see them grow and I'm excited to kind of follow in their footsteps, but in a different way.

 

0:06:01.3 S1: Wow, they moved from the Netherlands to Canada. Why did they move to Canada?

 

0:06:06.3 S2: So the Netherlands, if you've ever been there, it's a really small country, it fits in North Dakota almost four times, and there's almost 18 million people that live there. So it's a really small country with a lot of people, and my parents wanted to expand the dairy, and since the country is so small, it's really hard to grow your farm, so they needed more space and they chose Canada. There's lots of space there where we moved, it was near Edmonton, Alberta, very similar to where we live now actually, and there's lots of land there, so they were able to grow. So they milked 50 cows in the Netherlands, and then about 120-150 in Canada, and now they milk about 1,500. So it's really fun to look back because they milk as many cows at one time now that they had total in the Netherlands. Wow. Yeah. Talk about scaling your business. Yeah, absolutely. So then in Canada, having the 120-150-cow dairy, both of my brothers at the time were interested in dairy farming and they wanted the farm to be big enough to support multiple families in case all three of us wanted to farm, so then they picked us up again, and moved to Carrington, North Dakota.

 

0:07:18.4 S2: I think they're here to stay. I don't think they're going anywhere. But now the whole family is involved, so everything happens for a reason. At the time, I didn't wanna be a dairy farmer and now I'm not technically a dairy farmer, but I'm involved in a different way, so I'm really thankful for the move back. When I was 13 years old, I didn't really wanna move 'cause I was just a teenager and finding my friends and so that was tough being at that age, but it all worked out. You fit in quickly, don’t we? Yes, yeah. And the community was pretty supportive, so... Yeah.

 

0:07:53.1 S1: Very cool. And are your parents still involved in the dairy?

 

0:07:56.8 S2: Yes, yep. So both my brothers and then my parents are... So my mom is a very creative soul, so the creamery is probably where she spends most of her time with me. So she still does the book work and all that stuff at the dairy. My brothers still go ask her if they could buy a tractor. She says no, but they buy it anyways. And then she helps at the creamery making cheese and gelato, and all the packaging and stuff. She's very, very creative designing the creamery, she's been super helpful with that, so without her, I probably wouldn't have this creamery at all. So she's kind of a super mom and is very good at everything she does.

 

0:08:39.0 S1: Oh, this is so fun that you're doing that with your mom, what a great way to grow your relationship from mother-daughter to working side by side with one another.

 

0:08:47.9 S2: Yeah, you know, she's not old at all, but now I'm like, once we get 30 years on, I don't know what I'm gonna do without her because she's kind of my right-hand man, and I kinda just tell her what my vision is and she makes it happen one way, shape or another. So I have some learning to do while I still have her around. That is so cool. So I'm curious about the working side of being a dairy farmer.

 

0:09:15.4 S1: A lot of people that are listening might not have any exposure to the workload that comes with farm life, and you mentioned early on that you're always working, but literally, you're always working. How do you go on vacation? Or do you go on vacation as a farmer?

 

0:09:34.5 S2: Yeah, as a dairy farmer, it's really hard to go on vacation. I think it's kind of well known in the world, if you're a dairy farmer, you're at home all the time. So right now, since we milk 1,500 cows, we do have about 22 workers at the farm, so they do most of the milking. My parents and my brothers are kind of more managerial now... I go there and my dad and brother, they're doing something every single day, it's something different. So I remember, we never really went on vacation, but when we did, I remember we would go to Disneyland, but now that I'm old, I know why we went to Disneyland because it was the big dairy convention in California. So it was like, Oh, kids we’re going to Disneyland, but then I really know why we went there. Since they had to do the milking in the morning at night, my parents did, it was really hard to go somewhere because you would have to find somebody to milk the cows. My mom always says we lived on a super-busy road in Canada, and every Friday the people would go by with their boats to go to the lake, and then my parents would look out the window when they were milking the cows and say...

 

0:10:42.7 S2: Oh gosh, those people are crazy. Why are they going to the lake every single weekend? And then they kind of realize, oh, you know what, they're probably looking at this dairy farm and thinking wow, those dairy farmers. Why would they be dairy farmers, they have to work all the time? So it's so different. My parents just enjoy working, they're probably considered workaholics, but they love what they do and they're happy with what they do, so it's just a very different lifestyle. Yeah.

 

0:11:10.9 S1: I'll give a shout out to Jen Tibodeau Jensen, who is a director of clinical and regulatory at Checkable. She grew up on a dairy farm and her parents have retired recently and they're traveling the world. And yeah, they don't live on the farm anymore, but she definitely has a work ethic that is like no other and a heart of gold. So I have a soft spot for you dairy farmers. But let's now move in to talk about your creamery, your baby, your vision, and where you started with that sweet idea of gelato, and then take us through where you are now.

 

0:11:50.2 S2: Yeah, so I started making gelato in 2018. I was actually at UND studying nursing, so I appreciate what you're doing at Checkable. Thank you. We travel back to the Netherlands quite often, so there's lots of gelato shops there, and I just... I remember the feeling I would have sitting on the patio enjoying some gelato. I thought, this is so cool, I just wish everybody could go to Europe and enjoy a fresh scoop of gelato. And I kind of had mentioned it to my family and said, oh, we should do this in North Dakota. And at the time, it was just kind of one of those things you just say like, I've always said I wanted to own a bakery, I've always wanted to do this, I want to do that. But they were like, oh, you know what, you're in nursing school, just continue to be a nurse, so that's what I did. And then a few months later, I was sitting in my nursing class and I got a text from my mom, and it was a link to Gelato University. So it's originally in Italy, but they come to the States a couple of times a year to teach people the basics of gelato making, so I thought, oh my gosh, yes, my mom wants to make gelato. So we went and we both fell in love with the process and we came back and how can we make this reality? Since milk is the main ingredient of gelato and we have a lot of milk right at our fingertips, let's make gelato. With it being a dairy product, there's a lot of rules and regulations, so it's not just something you can take raw milk and sell, you have to have a nice established little dairy-processing facility. So my mom was nice enough to give up her garage spot, so we renovated the garage to be a really small gelato-processing facility, and that's kind of how we got started.

 

0:13:31.0 S2: We didn't want to do a brick and mortar, just because I was gonna be working full-time as a nurse and I needed something flexible, so we got a gelato cart from Italy, and I used this cart to cater at weddings, farmer's markets. Basically, anybody that would hire me, I would say yes. So I would work my nursing shifts and then I would go cater with the gelato cart. And my husband and I, when we got married, it was actually the first wedding that we had the gelato cart at, so it was really special. And we learned a lot because the gelato was rock solid and you could barely scoop it, so now we know, okay, we need to have the gelato at gelato consistency, and then it's easier to scoop because there's a lot of people at a wedding that went gelato right now at the same time so you have to be really fast. So I guess that's how it started, and it's kind of just grown from there. Yeah.

 

0:14:21.6 S1: And out of curiosity, did you start with one flavor to be very basic and get that down, or did you start with a bunch?

 

0:14:29.3 S2: So we probably had when we first started, I went to the first... We actually went to downtown Carrington first and put the cart up and people came and tried the gelato. I think we had like six flavors that were good, solid flavors. And then it's pretty easy to make milk, cream, and sugar taste good, so it's really fun. Gelato’s so versatile, you could make so many products, seasonal flavors. Yeah, we're constantly scheming what else we could do, what's another flavor we can make. We are every month rotating different flavors, so you have the solid flavors that everybody knows and loves, and they're not afraid to try, like cookies and cream, and chocolate, and salted caramel, but then you’ve got flavors like strawberry basil that people are like, oh, I don't know if I wanna have basil in my gelato. So it's a lot of fun.

 

0:15:23.7 S1: That sounds really fun. I had one in Minneapolis, it was a bleu cheese and shortbread cookie and gelato. That was very interesting. And they are like, you just gotta try it. And I'm like, oh no, I'm a cookies and cream gal. What makes it fun is giving customers, one, you get your creativity out, but then you get customers to try something new.

 

0:15:49.7 S2: Right, yeah, that's really fun because gelato was very new to the people of North Dakota; it was a lot of educating, it's like ice cream, but not. I don't know, it's just so cool to see people taste our product and then just the reaction to it, that's why we keep doing what we're doing.

 

0:16:06.8 S1: Do you or your child have symptoms of strep throat, such as sore throat or fever? Do you want to help an innovative startup validate their at-home strep test? Checkable Medical is currently enrolling children ages five and up, and adults for a strep throat study. Go to www.testforstrep.com to see if there's a site near you. Again, that website is www.testforstrep.com. So you were a nurse, when was the time that you took the big leap to work on this full-time?

 

0:16:45.4 S2: So I worked as a nurse, I graduated in 2017, and then I worked for about two and a half years. I worked night shifts in the ER at Sanford in Fargo, and my husband was in physical therapy school at UND. So when he graduated, he came and did a residency in Fargo. And when his residency was about to be up, I had already gone down on hours, I was working basically casually at that time just because I was getting so busy with gelato. And then I guess my husband and I just had to make the decision, what do we wanna do? Do we wanna keep the gelato the way it is and keep doing both our jobs, which you know that sounded nice too, because I really did enjoy being a nurse, and my husband loves being a physical therapist, and he still is a physical therapist now, but we wanted to move back to Carrington. We wanted to find a farmstead, whether it was outside of Fargo or in Carrington, we just wanted a place where people could come to the farm and try our product, see how the products are made and...

 

0:17:45.7 S2: This was a vision I've had for a long time, because that's how a lot of people do it in the Netherlands; they make their product on the farm and people ride their bike to the creamery and they can enjoy the product there and then go on with their day. So we did look outside of Fargo at the time, and then the closest farmstead was about 50 miles away, so we thought, well, at that point, let's just go home and go to Carrington, and we're very, very happy we made that decision. That is so cool. I love that you're with your family too, just from your story of what all you have been through together and in entrepreneurship as well as your family. And that seems really natural that you're all all together in Carrington. Yeah, it's really special.

 

0:18:29.5 S1: And I like that he's still in healthcare. That's great, because we need physical therapists, we need nurses, we need everyone in healthcare, but we need you at Cows and Co. So we went from gelato to... You started tinkering around with the creamery, had this bigger vision, what was that all about?

 

0:18:50.4 S2: Yeah, so I should backtrack a little bit. So we were catering and then we would do monthly delivery, so people would order... It started off with Facebook Messenger, they would order on Facebook, and then we would deliver to... We started with Jamestown and then we added Fargo and then Grand Forks, and now we deliver to 11 different cities, including Carrington once a month. So as that grew, we just kind of, we ran out of space in the garage, so I kinda started taking over my dad's spot. And then at that time, my husband and I moved back and we bought a farmstead, it was actually an old dairy farm, so there was a lot of sweet history on the farmstead we live at. But there was an old pole barn that we renovated to be the creamery now, so we needed more space for gelato because we were producing more gelato, and then I also wanted to make gouda cheese, it's traditional Dutch cheese. My mom has a history in Gouda cheesemaking, I went to the Netherlands to learn how to make the cheese, I just thought a creamery isn't complete without cheese, right?

 

0:19:52.0 S2: Everybody loves cheese. We make fresh cheddar cheese curds too, just because that was highly requested, but again, Gouda cheese, it's not new to people, but true artisan Gouda is new to people. You can buy Gouda cheese at the store, but it's not always made in the traditional way that Gouda cheese should be made. So it's still a lot of teaching like, this is what Gouda is, this is how it's made, this is how it's aged. So now we make gelato, we don't cater as much just because we're so busy at the creamery, and then we do have a little cafe at the creamery that's open every now and then, so that books us up on Saturday so that it's hard for us to travel 'cause most of our catering is done in Fargo and then we don't get back till super late. And now we have an almost-one-year-old, so time is a lot more valuable when you have a little one in the mix. Yes. Oh, absolutely. It goes by so fast, doesn’t it?

 

0:20:47.9 S2: Yeah, too fast

 

0:20:49.8 S1: And did you have a boy or a girl?

 

0:20:51.3 S2: We had a boy, Shepherd. Shepherd, so he's almost one, is he walking yet? I don't know, he wants to. The other day, he took four steps, but he can't walk, so he had a pretty hard tumble after that, but he is on the move. Oh that’s so fun. Well, congratulations. Thank you.

 

0:21:08.3 S1: That's a lot of good stuff. We just had on our other podcast, the Checkable Health Podcast, I interviewed a woman named Neha, and she is a sleep trainer for infants, and she does sleep therapy. And I have to say, after talking with her for 45 minutes, I was like, I'm glad that my kids are teenagers, I don't have to go through sleep training anymore because that’s a hard time of life. Well, I better listen to that podcast because our little Shep, he still up at night and he's almost one. You should check her out, sleepycub.com, and she does one-on-one training, she does group trainings, and then she has accessible trainings that you can just watch on your own, but she says seven days that you'll have your baby sleeping through the night for 12 hours and then napping in the day.

 

0:21:55.9 S2: Okay, I better watch that.

 

0:21:58.5 S2: Well, at this point, I was desperate, but now I'm just kinda like, it's just the way it is. I guess he wants his Mom at night and I'm so weak, I just go in there. 

 

0:22:07.6 S1: Yeah, it's very interesting. You'll get a lot out of that episode. Interestingly we tied that together. So now the place is beautiful, really. When I look at the pictures and your videos, I'm just very inspired by your idea that you started with the gelato and kept going. On the Persevere Podcast, we like to talk about lots of good things that you've done and how you scaled your business, we like to talk about achievement as well as things that have happened that maybe you took a misstep here and there. So one achievement I would like to recognize is you were recognized as a Forbes Under 30 Top 100 Entrepreneur. 

 

0:22:46.8 S2: Congratulations for that. Thank you.

 

0:22:49.0 S1: How did this happen?

 

0:22:50.0 S2: That's so cool. I got an email one day that I was nominated for the list, and I know when you get all this spam email, you kinda look at it like, Oh, Forbes, I didn't subscribe to Forbes. And it was, You've been nominated. And then you still have to send an application and basically they just wanna hear, so you get nominated and then they wanna hear more about you. So I was like, Okay. I said to my husband was like, well, do we fill it out? He's like, well, yeah, let's fill it out. So we filled it out and a lot of information just what your goals are, why you do what you do, your financials and this and that, and everything on there, and I submitted it and then it said a month later everything will be announced and I kinda just brushed it off my shoulders, 'cause I thought there's no way. You know you go on those Forbes lists and it's always like multi-millionaires on there, and then I saw something on Instagram, 'cause then of course I started following Forbes and I was like, Oh, tomorrow, the list comes out, and then I thought, Okay, well. It was the next morning, and I remembered that Forbes came out, let's look at it.

 

0:23:53.2 S2: So I'm going through the list, honestly not expecting me to be on there, but it's kind of fun to see who's on there now, you know, so I'm going and my list, or my last name was van Bedaf, I'm going through, and then all of a sudden I see my picture and it was really a moment in my life where my breath was taken away. I was like, Oh my goodness, is this real?  I went down stairs, my husband was at work, I went downstairs 'cause we lived with my parents for a little while while we renovated the house, but I went downstairs and told my mom...I was like, I'm on the Forbes list. She kinda looked at me, she's always been the kind that before a track race, she’s say, Maartje, you’re probably gonna get last, but it's gonna be okay.

 

0:24:32.5 S1: She would kind of...

 

0:24:33.6 S2: What her thing is that she kind of prepares you for failure just in case if you do, it's okay. So she was like, no, you're not. And then, I don't know, she was blown away too, and we called my dad and told my brothers, and it was kind of like a surreal moment, you know. It was like all that hard work and all that sacrifice that my husband and I made just in the first couple of years of Duchessa Gelato, it just seemed like, wow, this is quite the honor. It was announced right before Christmastime, gosh, it was probably a year or two ago already, so a lot of newspapers reached out to write stories about Duchessa Gelato, so a lot of people heard about Duchessa Gelato in North Dakota, so we made a lot of gelato that Christmas season because it was a bunch of new customers just from that, from that recognition. So it was pretty cool.

 

0:25:26.0 S1: Very cool, I love that. So you relished in it for a little bit, but you moved on.

 

0:25:33.6 S2: It's looking back, it's like, Oh, that was really cool. But now it's like, onto new things. Yeah, well, congratulations. That's a really big recognition. Thank you. And especially in our tiny state of North Dakota, to be recognized against the big giants on the East Coast with so many different entrepreneurs, that really says a lot about you. Yeah, I think, yeah, that was the coolest thing being a small business from an ag background, a dairy farming background, to be on the Forbes list, it's pretty cool to put North Dakota on the map and then also dairy farmers on the map, so that was quite the honor. Super cool. Alright, so now let's talk about... You think back like, Gosh, I wish I would have done this differently. And personally, I think of so many different things that I could have done differently, and it's almost like we're going through this training now that we think pain is bad, but pain is actually good, because if you're gonna talk to a hot stove and you put your hand on there…

 

0:26:33.6 S1: Well, it's good that we feel pain because otherwise we'd be burnt and you'd have these side effects, so pain is good, going through mistakes are actually good. So is there anything that sticks out in your mind that you could share with the audience that maybe they could apply to their own business or be future-looking of okay, I won't make that mistake.

 

0:26:52.2 S2: Yeah, I think the biggest thing for me is just being super scatter-brained And I don't know if this is a mistake or this is just the way I am, because a lot of what I do comes with planning and emailing people back, and I'm kinda getting to the point where you just get so many emails and all these things are booked, and looking back, I wish I would have taken more time to know how to be organized, or to just sit down and be organized because still to this day, I am not organized. So that's really hard, and now it's kind of biting me in the butt as the business grows, so that's probably... I don’t know if I would consider it, like I said, a mistake, but kind of a continuing mistake, maybe... I don't know. So yeah, looking back, I would get an office ready, which I still don't have, a desk with my papers in line because when it comes to the end of the year and it's tax season, and then I'm doing books from the January of the year before. So the biggest thing is just, have your books organized. Have your calendar organized.

 

0:27:58.5 S2: Now, I have somebody on my team, Erin, who's actually my husband's cousin, she went to school for business management, and she's very, very good at what she does when it comes to getting stuff done and book work, and so I got to slide her into my QuickBooks, but I don't know if I'm there yet. So I guess I've kind of learned to bring people on to your team that are good at what you're not good at.

 

0:28:22.9 S1: That's really great self-awareness, Maartje, that's something that I think a lot of entrepreneurs face is you have a passion for what you're doing, and you just wanna create. But then those business, solid business practices can lack, and my advice is just like that, find your accountant and find your bookkeeper, find your business person that can help keep you in line so you can keep doing what you're really good at, and which is the vision and creating the business. I love that you keep refining your craft as well, going over to the Netherlands and being trained in real gelato making, authentic gelato making and Gouda making. How about the future? Are you working on anything else here that you can share with us?

 

0:29:09.2 S2: Yeah, we always have something new every day that we wanna do, but I guess right now, we are opening a shop in Fargo, I don't know if you knew that. No. So in the new brew hall building, we're gonna have a little location. So Erin is gonna be the manager there, so she's gonna go there where it's gonna be just a small space, it's gonna be a scoop shop, and then people will be able to buy gelato pints and cheese to go, and then we'll also be making stroopwafels, which is a traditional Dutch waffle treat. Yeah, so we're gonna have that. So that's kind of like the next big thing that we have to focus on, I guess, and then we are starting to renovate the barn on the creamery site. We're gonna have it... It's gonna be open every single day just because there's lots of people driving through and they want to purchase just a pound of cheese and we're not open, so usually people just drive up because we're usually home making something, so I let 'em in and let them buy some cheese. But there's times where we're delivering and we're not home, so right now we're renovating a part of the barn.

 

0:30:09.9 S2: It's gonna be a cute little on-farm store, people could come and get cheese and gelato whenever they want, and it is gonna be an honor system to start with, so we'll have to have a camera up and hopefully people are honest, but it'll just take one and then we're just gonna have to staff and have somebody in there at all times. But I trust the people and I'm not gonna not trust them till I don't have to, so we're gonna give it a whirl.

 

0:30:31.1 S1: Yeah, hopefully that works out. Still at the lake, we have corn and vegetables that are out on the honor system too, and you hope people have a good heart and don’t steal.

 

0:30:41.3 S2: Right. That's super exciting. Yes, yeah, and then we're also in the works of starting to ship our products, so we have our shipping boxes ready, we've ordered our ice packs, we're gonna start with cheese and then eventually go into gelato, but of course that comes with shipping cost to the customer, so we just have to see if they're willing to pay for the shipping. And if not, then we just don't ship, but we've had a lot of interest just throughout the nation of people wanting to buy our Gouda cheese, so we have to get on, and I keep telling them by the end of the year. But it's almost the end of the year. So we better get going.

 

0:31:16.5 S1: You're almost there, but you still have a couple of months left. Still have the fourth quarter to crush it. That's right. Well, that's a great way to end. I'd love for you to share your URL, how people can really find out this treasure that you have in Cows and Co. in Carrington, and all of your products, so can you give us all of those calls to actions.

 

0:31:37.6 S2: Yes, so we have a Facebook page, an Instagram Cows and Co. Creamery, so I post all of our updates on there, but the best place to go for finding out when the pre-order opens, when the Creamery is open, is cowsandcocreamery.com. We have a schedule tab, and that’ll tell you the delivery dates when it opens, and it's kind of updated month to month. Like I said, I kind of work day-to-day, I should plan ahead, but I have a really hard time doing that, so I always... Maybe this is my chance to apologize to my customers if it's taken me four days to reply to an email, I see you, I just haven't gotten to you yet. So yeah, that's the place to see, and then you can buy gelato, we deliver to Fargo, and then the shop in Fargo is gonna open up at the beginning of January or mid-January, so we're excited to be in Fargo and be there a little bit more often. And I know there's a lot of people in Fargo that haven't tasted our product so I'm excited to spread the gelato and cheese love over there.

 

0:32:34.7 S1: I cannot wait. That's gonna be, that it's gonna be a success. And so with your aspirations with the boxes and shipping cool materials, are you gonna be able to do subscriptions and ship regionally then? Is that your plan?

 

0:32:50.8 S2: Yes, so I would like to ship nationwide, so we're probably gonna start with a taste of Cows and Co., so maybe four different types of cheeses, and then eventually we'll be able to have all the flavors that people could choose. Okay, I want a young and an aged and an old Gouda, but we kinda wanna start with one box, this is what it is, and then see how it goes, and then we just need to hire some more people, but sometimes that's hard to do 'cause you think you can do it best yourself, you know?

 

0:33:19.3 S1: I know how that is. And keep the operation moving.

 

0:33:23.1 S2: Right, right. Yes, yeah. You need a good solid team, and right now we have a really good, small solid team and we just have to add some more go-getters. 

 

0:33:35.3 S1: I wish you the best with that. I'm sure that they'll come, you have just a magnetic personality.

 

0:33:40.4 S2: Thank you.

 

0:33:40.8 S1: Sure you'll draw the best talent in and a great vision. So thank you for sharing your story with us. It's certainly inspirational. All of you out there that are listening, keep creating, keep persevering with business. And Maartje Murphy, thank you so much for joining me today.

 

0:33:59.0 S2: Thank you so much.

 

0:34:00.3 S1: Well, that was just a fantastic episode. Maartje is just a wonderful soul and a great entrepreneur, I loved her lesson that she has the idea and she says that she's a little scatter-brained, but aren't all of us entrepreneurs scatter-brained? I think that's something that we all have in common, but we all feel a little bit self-conscious about it, and I think it's time that we put that aside because I think it's a great attribute that we have because we can do so many things simultaneously. We don't always hit it out of the park in some of the skills, but that's where we bring someone of expertise to come in and help us. I also really loved her relationship with her family, I just think that that's... If we don't have family, what do we have? And she's a great example of that. So if you want to be an early adopter and you love the Persevere Podcast, I really encourage you to come over to LinkedIn, I created a group where we can continue the conversation of these podcast episodes, but also let's create community, let's connect with one another. Whether you're raising money, whether you're scaling your business, whether you want to throw out a business idea, business model, come over there and let's talk about it.


0:35:14.1 S1: That's the Persevere Podcast LinkedIn group. And I wanna say thank you to the Checkable Health Podcast Production crew and to Grow the Show editing team that makes all of this happen for this wonderful audience and for me. And of course, thank you to all of the guests that have been on the Persevere Podcast, I can't believe that we are almost done with 2022. Moving into this fourth quarter, it's gone by like crazy, thank you so much for tuning in and until next time, you keep on persevering in business. Thank you for listening to The Persevere Podcast, powered by Checkable Medical. Head over to perseverepodcast.com for notes, links and additional resources from today's show. To continue hearing insights and gaining knowledge from those persevering, succeeding and making their dream a reality, be sure to subscribe through your favorite podcast app. Now go make it happen.