Name, title & company name?
Steven Novick, Founder & Team Member (we don’t have titles), Farmstand.
In five words, tell us what your business does?
Healthy fast-casual restaurant/online delivery.
When did you know that you wanted to set up your own business and what made you finally take the plunge?
At a very early age (probably when I was about 8 years old). I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin across the street from a farm (which is where the Farmstand name comes from) so even when I was much younger I was interested in where food came from and how it was grown.
In 2006, I was diagnosed with a serious cancer and the initial prognosis was poor. Before I was given the all clear I set three goals:
1. Become closer to friends and family (because I worked all the time).
2. Finish climbing the highest peak on each of the seven continents (aka, the 7 summits which includes Everest).
3. Start and run a successful healthy online and offline food business.
I’ve completed two and a half of the three so far.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Everything… especially being able to create and build a brand. The past 10 years of my life have all been ‘bonus time’ (as I was very lucky to find the cancer I had otherwise I wouldn’t be here).
And the worst?
Getting a flat tire (which is rare) as I cycle everywhere I go.
What one thing do you think the Government should do to help small businesses?
All small businesses should not have to pay VAT for a five year period or at least until they achieve profitability (especially those that (1) use UK based suppliers; and (2) pay their teams the London Living Wage – Farmstand already does both).
Who do you most admire in business?
Our UK based suppliers. Most of the companies are still run by their founders and they help to make our food and drink taste so delicious.
If you could give one piece of advice to small business owners, what would it be?
I never offer advice (just suggestions and only when asked).
If you hadn’t set up your company, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
Producing independent film and theatre. I’ve done it on a part-time basis since 1998, so that is something I would like to do more of when I can make time for it.
Working with special needs children who have been bullied (my older sister has special needs and was often bullied at school).
Helping a friend with another startup (I love building things – it’s like adult Legos).
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