“Perseverance. Don’t doubt yourself. Take risks, but use your intuition.” Amanda, age 23, says to anyone looking to start their own small business.
Amanda is an organic farmer and owner of the Biomercardo, in the heart of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. This market is a one of a kind, one stop shop for local, organic, and mostly vegan produce and finished goods. Their motto, advertised in both English and Spanish is that, “Food is medicine, medicine supports our health, a healthy body is clean, cleaning is transforming, transformation inspires art, art is a seed, and the seeds grow food…“. This is exemplified when one browses the store to see fresh produce and superfoods, medicinal herbs, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, art, and last but not least- seeds.
Not only is Amanda the soon-to-be one year owner of the shop, she is also the mother of two beautiful children who can usually be found either resting behind the coutner or playing throughout the store. I mentioned Amanda’s age earlier, because it is inspiring to see such a young woman as both a mom and a store owner. She says the only way it’s been possible to juggle it all is because she has already embarked upon her life project with her husband, and that her lifestyle is conducive for taking care of the babes. Her husband is, as she calls him, the Farm Director, while she takes care of things at the store.
Although Amanda and her husband’s initial idea was to live self-sufficiently in Puerto Viejo on their farm, they realized that making a living this way was not very easy. Thus, she thought that it would be a great idea to open a store where farm owners, local artisans and the like could sell their products throughout the week at one place, as opposed to only on Saturdays at the town’s farmers market. (Side note: This is great for me because I always miss the organic market on Saturday mornings while observing the Shabbat.)
The store features homemade chocolate, different vegan treats, some of which are raw, veggies, dairy and non-dairy cheeses, yogurt, Kefir and Kombucha that Amanda and her volunteers make, superfoods such as Macuna, Moringa, Spirulina, etc. as well as loose herbs like Ortiga (Nettles Leaf), Frambuesa (Raspberry), Lavender, Rose Hips.
The store caters to those of us who are interested in supporting the local economy, eating locally grown produce, and upholding the ethical practice of organic farming. Moreover, the store serves as a one-of-a-kind hub for those striving to make a living out of their businesses, those who support their mission and who desire to take our health into our own hands. The store brings in a diverse crowd of people, from young to old. And I think that most people are happy to shop here because of the store’s mission to give back to the people.
Starting any business should be about your market, first and foremost. This is one thing that is clear throughout the energy of the store. It’s not entirely about the profit you will gain, but most importantly how you can serve your community!
If you have not already, I encourage you to come visit the Biomercado in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. And if that is not possible for you, I hope that this post inspires you to support your community by buying locally, and by potentially starting a business of your own that caters to the needs of those around you!
Thank you for visiting Little Lotus Herbals™. Until next time!