Farm & Haus has quickly become a favorite local eatery in Orlando. Starting as a farm-to-table, delivery-only restaurant serving fresh & healthy chef-made dinners, they soon opened a brick and mortar station inside local food hub, East End Market. And they’ve been winning our hearts ever since with, among other dishes, the most fabulous avocado toast around! I recently got to chat all things Orlando with one half of the dynamic husband and wife team behind Farm & Haus, Brittany Lyne.
Why did you decide to start your business? Tell us your backstory!
So, we’ve all been there. It’s a busy week (what week isn’t?!). You’ve eaten out way more than you care to admit, and your waistband is feeling it. However, after a long day at work, the last thing that sounds appealing is a trip to the grocery store to make a home cooked meal, complete with prolonged starvation and a sink full of dishes. This was my husband and business partner, Patrick, and my dilemma most nights back in our corporate hustlin’ days. We started talking about an idea to better connect farmers with consumers in the hopes of supporting the local food economy, while enhancing the quality of life of our fellow Orlandoans. This eventually turned into the question of, “How can we make healthy, locally-sourced food as easy and accessible as ordering a pizza?” Thus, Farm & Haus was born.
On a deeper level, my passion for healthy, simple eating comes from a place of personal experience through losing my dad to brain cancer at a young age. I’m constantly shocked by the lack of social responsibility that the food industry takes in providing food that will nourish and heal people, instead of making them sick (a whole other topic). I want our legacy to be a positive one of helping to inch our community closer to a better and safer food landscape.
Why do you love doing business here in Orlando?
Our supportive and diverse community. hands down. When we first launched Farm & Haus, I was in awe of the incredible response we received from not only customers, but from fellow small business owners and the local media. A huge part of the reason why we’re still standing is owed to the amazing people who helped to lift us up, including Yelp’s Colleen Burns and Andi Perez. A true legacy to Colleen and the impact she had on everyone she touched.
In addition, we live in one of the most incredibly diverse cities, full of people from all walks of life. I LOVE this about our city. We are a people who are here with open arms, and you can feel it everywhere you go. With just one year since the Pulse shootings, our hearts remain heavy, but we stand united as Orlandoans now more than ever. I’m really proud to be a part of a city that will pull together in good times and bad to support and love our fellow neighbor.
What’s the most helpful piece of customer feedback you’ve received?
Honestly, I really can’t pinpoint just one. One of our missions at Farm & Haus has been to make it a company that grows and evolves based on the wants and needs of our customer base. We are CONSTANTLY asking our customers for feedback and input. All of which has helped to shape us to become who we are. It’s through this mindset that we have created incredible, and long-lasting relationships with our customers—and we have some GREAT customers! On the flipside, I will say that the least helpful feedback we receive are through jabs made on social media that are meant to be hurtful and not helpful. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it cuts us to the core. The best and most effective feedback will always be the people who take the time to reach out to help us improve. For that, we are forever grateful!
What’s your advice for other business owners or someone who wants to start a small business?
My biggest advice? Owning a business is hard (a given, right?). But seriously. We see so many success stories of startups in the media that it’s almost romanticizing being an entrepreneur and starting your own business. What you don’t see though are the countless hours of early mornings and late nights seven days a week, missing out on special events and trips with friends & having to juggle work life, home life & all of the curve balls that life throws at you—all at the same time—and all while trying to do it really well. My point is, your life becomes your business. It takes relentless persistence to own your own business, a constant desire to evolve and change and become the best that you can be, and most importantly, never giving up. Because at the end of the day, if you were made for this, you wouldn’t have it any other way.
A few other practical takeaways:
• When starting a business, put the emphasis on making money and not spending it. Which leads me to point number 2…
• Don’t buy into the lie that everything has to be perfect before you launch your business. Your branding, marketing, and even your product with evolve and change as you go. Just get started.
• Make sure you have 1-2 years of savings in place
• Don’t hire people before you’re ready.
• Collaboration is key.
• Just show up. This is some of the best advice I’ve ever received. Some of the best connections I’ve made have come from events that I almost didn’t show up to.
Behind every business is a great story. Download the Yelp mobile app to find a great business in and around Central Florida. Business owners, share your story on your Yelp listing by using the free tools at biz.yelp.com.