Alum of Business: Metes & Bounds
Heath Thomson is the owner and founder of Metes & Bounds, a mobile farm dinner operation that provides a 5-course plated chef’s tasting menu derived from the day’s harvest at the host farms, all paired with local wine. Though he has a professional background in fine dining, he grew up cooking in rural settings and developed a passion for cooking over open flame in remote locations. Now his company is turning the farm-to-table movement around by truly connecting diners from the table back to the farm!
Heath participated in the first-ever Food Entrepreneur’s Business Intensive at the Food Craft Institute in 2013. Eighteen months later, he tells us how he’s been cultivating success…
What is your biggest inspiration?
Two amazing women had the biggest impact on my vision. When I cooked with Chef Amaryll Schwertner at Boulettes Larder, she taught me not just what to cook, but WHY to cook — the deeper cultural context and social relevance that comes out of the kitchen. My entrepreneurial inspiration came from Veronica Volny, founder of Meadow Lark Farm Dinners, who showed me that you don’t have to fit within the normal conventions of a restaurant in order to work as a chef.
What was the most helpful aspect of FCI’s Business Intensive?
The course gave a really great holistic view of entrepreneurship to someone who has never run a business before. The financial modeling and legal aspects were especially helpful. But also the connection to a wider network of food professionals and supporters was huge! After the course, I continued to receive consulting with Anjali Oberoi and then ended up offering my services to her by feeding her wedding party this past Spring!
What have been the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered in starting your business?
Getting the word out! The first several months were entirely focused on building the infrastructure and now that we’re up and running, the focus shifts completely to marketing our unique product. Being your own boss for the first time is never easy – the struggle of time management, prioritizing goals and staying organized. You have to constantly remind yourself to be patient and not freak out!
What advice do you have for new food entrepreneurs starting out?
Stick to your concept and believe in your product, no matter what distractions arise. Surround yourself with good people, even though they tend to be more expensive! Be very diligent and thorough in your hiring process. If you get the right people that you can trust and delegate to, it will make a world of difference!
Follow Metes & Bounds on Instagram and you’ll be convinced to go table-to-farm as well!