Afke Zonderland operates Okanagan Rawsome Natural Products. Afke exudes passion as she tells her story in the spring of 2019 while making this training video. She was inspired by learning that Raw foods offered increased nutrition. She created products for her family to test the idea and her daughter proclaimed that “mom these are so good you should sell them.” Afke was surprised when she went to the farmer’s market came home with $500! She decided to “rob my husband’s bank account for $10,000” to get all the ingredients needed to test the market demand with actual sales. Afke reflected that the mistakes she made when her enterprise was small did not cost too much, and when she faced risks, she realized she needed to learn as much as possible. She turned to consultants from Community Futures. She realized that she should incorporate her business to separate the food business from the personal holdings of the family. Then came the challenge of building a business plan. She had to learn how to calculate the Cost of Goods Sold and determine the Retail Price to then calculate the margins to make sure she could meet her financial goal. Afke made investments in machinery then made sales to pay for them. Afke got the HACCP plan grant through the SSFPA, and she was listed with Save-On-Foods. This success led to the decision to build a processing plant on their land. Afke thanked the SSFPA for their ongoing support.
As of the fall of 2020, Afke’s story has reached new vistas and new challenges. There are details in the RiverTalk article on page 8 and “She now has room for production, a commercial freezer, storage and an office. The addition of her daughter Anna Gorman also enhanced the business” with Afke and Anna in Family Business article starting on page 12 saying “I’ve always been really pleased to offer some employment in a rural area. I’ve never felt that minimum wage was enough, so we pay fair livable wages,” says Afke.