By Jason A. Smith The Valdosta Daily Times, Ga.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the Georgia couple who are taking on a new challenge by adding a retail store to their existing agriculture business. The hope is to plant even deeper roots into the community.
Being an entrepreneur isn't always easy and everyone does it a little differently. Some open online stores, while others open brick-and-mortar storefronts.
Some go all in and invest their lives into a new venture, while others start a new business as something to do on the side. Regardless of the type, entrepreneurs help drive the local economy.
Brian and Tammy Rayfield have been entrepreneurs for years, but have recently ventured into the retail market when they purchased The Mix on July 1.
Prior to purchasing the mix, the Rayfields worked in agriculture, he said. He farmed squash, bell peppers, cucumbers, watermelons and any other Southern vegetables, he said.
And while the Rayfields plan to continue to farm, buying The Mix was a great opportunity, he said.
"The opportunity came up and we were looking for something to supplement our income," Brian said. "So, we are taking the ball and running with it."
While the Rayfields have a successful agriculture business, The Mix is the first retail store the couple has owned, Brian said. And while he is aware it is two different worlds, he is grateful for the foundation the previous owners built.
"The former owners gave us a great foundation and we want to build on it," he said.
Since the take over, Brian and Tammy have made some cosmetic changes and have been striving to focus on improving customer service, he said. They have also added Hawaiian shaved ice and Blue Bell ice cream.
Going forward, Brian plans to use the established model of community involvement to push the store forward. "We think community is important, and we want to stay connected," he said.
Brian is looking for ways to use The Mix truck more, and open the store to more events, he said. This includes karaoke on Tuesdays and possible open-mic nights.
Brian said he is looking to hear from his customers how he can be more involved in the community and what event and party planners suggest for the business. He wants to encourage customers to give him feedback on what works, what they would like to see and what can be improved.
Taking on a new business can be hard, but Brian said they will strive to keep the business moving forward.
"We want to mix it up," he said. "Stay fresh and never be stale because we mix it up."