Identifying a problem or a need is always the first step in launching a successful new business. Whenever there is a demand, a need, or a void that needs to be met there is room for businesses to grow.
As missionaries living in Cambodia we all noticed the lack of dairy products within the country. We joked of how we would all turn lactose intolerant due to the quick change of our diets. Of course dairy products were existent among the markets of Cambodia but due to the fact that all milk was imported the prices were often more than we could all ever dream of paying. Only the really wealthy Cambodians could afford to go to “Swenson’s” the country’s high class ice cream shop where one cup of ice cream was worth as much as the average man’s daily wage.
It was a common joke for one of the missionaries to say that they would open up a dairy farm in Cambodia once they had a little money. I heard it many times and even said it myself! We all saw the huge void in the industry and thought it would be cool to bring the joys of dairy products to more Cambodians. Every time I heard this I smiled to myself and thought of how impossible it would be to get an operation like that to fruition. Laws barring Americans from establishing businesses, corrupt government practices, and local lack of knowledge of how to raise dairy cows all made it near impossible to get a business going. Furthermore the basic things such as money, land, and the fact that the climate simply wasn’t well suited for dairy cows survival all were factors that reminded us why there wasn’t a dairy farm already in Cambodia.
Clearly I didn’t have the entrepreneurial vision and spirit as two other missionaries serving in Cambodia because today there is a dairy farm in Cambodia that provides Cambodians with milk processed and distributed right within their country. Moo Moo Farms started as a dream but after hours and hours of work from Kenny Matthews and Matt Boyd it is now a reality. What most only joked and dreamed about these two went and did. Their ability to start and grow their own business is remarkable in and of itself but the fact that they were able to do it in a country half way across the world from the native land makes the story even more incredible! Moo Moo Farms stands as a monument to me and hundreds more that dreams don’t have to stay just dreams!