Like many people we dreamed of creating a different lifestyle. One where we could work from home, connect with our local community and enjoy fresh air and sunshine (yeah and rain!).
We had moved house to somewhere I never imagined we could live – a dream home with around 10 acres of land. We wanted to make that land work for us, our dream being that one day our main income would be generated from the place we live.
There’s more in this Love Lifestyle SW blog about the journey that brought us to Somerset originally.
We came across snail farming, literally by accident and as we found out more, we became more and more interested. More here on why we chose snail farming. Our conversations were about the plans we would need to put into place to make it happen.
‘Where would we breed the snails?’
‘Where would they hatch?’
‘What needed to be put in place so they could grow outdoors?’
‘How would we find and engage with our customers?’
‘Could this really be a viable business?’
We did what we could to answer our questions – we met Eva at Gaelic Escargot and went on her course over in Ireland. It excited us that her enthusiasm and success (over 8 years) has ignited an interest in snail farming and there are now around 15 others following her lead.
We investigated the path of snail farmers in the UK – a mixed journey, some popping up for a short while and then fading away for various reasons. Some succeeding and growing over time. We weren’t sure what created success in comparison to those who didn’t make it, we assumed it was determination and treating the venture as a business, rather than a hobby.
We asked ourselves – ‘what could make us successful?’ We hoped our backgrounds in organisational development, operations management and acquisitions and mergers would provide us a good business grounding.
And we were excited by the potential for escargot to become a popular food choice. It fits so much of the criteria we are all searching for when we consider healthy and ethical food sources; high protein, low fat, low carbs and takes 45 times less land than lamb to farm the equivalent amount of protein per kilo.
We like the idea of a mission to inspire people in the UK to enjoy escargot – it’s enjoyed in most places in Southern Europe, so why not here?
And so, we were working out whether this business could tick the boxes on our wish list. Would we enjoy it? Would we use our natural skills, talents and experience? Would it enable us to enjoy the lifestyle we imagined?
We believed the answer was ‘yes’ and began the first steps toward developing our business.
The lifestyle we are creating is definitely different, we have yet to see if the lifestyle of our dreams!