40 Stories for 40 Years – Profilee 20
If you shop at Portland’s Deering Oaks Farmers Market any Saturday of the year, you will meet Lisa and her daughter, Elizabeth, selling a variety of fresh goat products. They offer several different types of items, including milk, cheese, soap, and meats.
Lisa credits her time with New Ventures Maine and the connections she made through them with getting her business off the ground. “I didn’t have much education. Talking to people, applying for loans and grants, and writing a business plan” were beyond her reach at that time. She shares that NVME’s Microenterprise Specialist was with her every step of the way. This support would make it possible for her dream of self-employment to become a reality.
Over the past ten years Lisa’s business, Tourmaline Hill Farm of Greenwood, has grown considerably. Her goat herd is up to forty milking does. In addition, the farm now boasts a walk-in cooler, large freezer unit, and a thirty-gallon pasteurizer. She is also excited to share that they have a commercial mixer to help with their production process. All of these pieces add up to a business that both sustains her household of three and allows her to have a paid employee.
When Lisa first came to NVME, she set a goal of being able to earn a living off her land. Today, she is thrilled to have achieved this goal and is relieved to be off Social Security Disability Income. She’s happy to share also that her daughter, Elizabeth, is now a senior at CMCC and wants to go on to be a doctor.
When asked what advice she would give to others going through similar situations, she shares, “Step out and go forward. Contact NVME to get the help you need to reach the level of education and income you want or need.”