September 7, 2017
Recently, we revealed our Qualification Grant Finalists for August: Made With Love Catering, Farm.Field.Sea., ityDity, Sleepy Baby Box and Scismic.
Today, we’re delighted to announce our $1,000 grant recipient — Nevette Previd, Founder of Farm.Field.Sea.
Read on to learn about Nevette and her one-of-a-kind business.
WN: What is Farm.Field.Sea and how did the business come to fruition?
Nevette: Farm.Field.Sea. produces educational and skill-driven tours and events centered on the local agriculture, aquaculture, and food artisans of Martha’s Vineyard.
The idea was inspired by my travels around the world and love of learning about different cultures though their food. Farm.Field.Sea. came to life in 2013 — my motivation was to fill a tourism niche on the island for culinary and agritourism events and to create economic and community-based opportunities for local producers. It was curious to me that Martha’s Vineyard – a 96 square mile island off the coast of Massachusetts – had not tapped into the growing trend of food travel. With over 42 farms that sell fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, honey, and cheese, 20 (and growing) Oyster farms and generations of fishermen that contribute to the island’s vibrant food scene, the opportunities (to me!) were endless. Farm.Field.Sea. was also an opportunity to forge collaborations across sectors—the arts, hospitality, non-profits, producers – blending the divide between seasonal visitors and the year-round community.
WN: How does your schedule change when winter arrives?
Nevette: Martha’s Vineyard has quite a seasonal economy – the population goes from 16,000 year round to 160,000 in July and August! Many shops and restaurants close, and most farmers wrap up operations before the holidays. Our attention turns from producing events to planning events – meeting with new and old collaborators, foraging new partnerships and consulting for clients who are interested in learning and implementing what we do in their own community. Our everyday life goes from beaches, eating out and taking advantage of the many cultural events that happen on the island every summer, to home dinner parties, cooking and planning for vacations (it’s essential to get off island in February and March to escape the grey!).
WN: What type of feedback have you received from customers?
Nevette: Our adventures always surprise people. I can honestly say they get just giddy ‘experiencing’ their food – touching (and eating!) oysters right from the ocean under their feet or say, harvesting produce and cooking it up right on the farm. I personally still geek out being able to have a real conversation with farmers.
WN: What are your plans for the grant money?
Nevette: We run a lean and nimble operation. We are not, however, invincible to the challenges faced by these limited resources. As a small business owner I find myself wearing many hats – from IT and web design to business, PR, marketing and sales. The Amber Qualification Grant will be used to hire a freelance full-stack web developer to start the upgrade of our website and create a more robust eCommerce site.
WN: Share some advice you would give to an aspiring female entrepreneur
Nevette: Stay with it! Collaborate! Ask a lot of questions. It’s super scary to be an entrepreneur. You have to wear a million hats and encounter a lot of issues. But the rewards are incredible, and I promise — they’re worth the time and effort.
Interested in applying for a future grant? Head here to get started.