Getting to Know: Craig & Sandy Holmberg
Owner of Sunnynook Farms
Craig and Sandy Holmberg are far from your regular young entrepreneurs, but rather, a couple leading the third generation of Craig’s family’s farming legacy with the help of Sandy’s business school education. “We are attempting to continue a farming dynasty in an environmental, conscientious manner,” Craig says. “We are making a mark in the local food economy by providing nutritionally dense, traceable food to our community.”
Located in Echo Bay, Ontario, Sunnynook Farms is more than an endeavour, but also a community staple that employes students and welcomes volunteers. “We needed to diversify our farm in order to create a feasible economic endeavour,” Craig says of the farm. “We sell products at farm gate as well as the local Farmer’s Market (Mill Market), and we are always hiring students, especially to fulfill their high school community service hours,” he continues.
As a business, Craig stresses that sometimes you need to have a “Plan B, C and even D” before finding the right fit. He also acknowledges that you should have a fall back plan and a great business plan, saying, “Don’t be so proud that you aren’t willing to bend to other avenues.”
To alleviate financial woes, Craig states that “team (work) and bringing in experts in the field” has helped dramatically, but with the proper investment, a lot more could change. “That would cover a good portion of our current owed overhead and it would alleviate some stress. Perhaps, one of the partners could work less and spend more time doting on the farming operations.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Sunnynook Farms, you can check them out on Facebook or simply visit them in person!
Story Written by Erin Ashley
Craig is a participant in the Hook It Up program delivered by Socent7. Hook It Up is a support program for young social entrepreneurs in Ontario. Learn more at www.hookitup.ca.
**END OF PROGRAM UPDATE** Craig and Sandy were able to build a cold storage space to extend their business later into the season. The impact is described by Craig “With this situation, we can harvest more, which in turn means we can seed more acreage and possibly hire more employees. We would also like to utilize the unused portion of that building for freezer space in conjunction with the cold storage.”