Sylvia Caldwell helps others grow their food processing businesses
To start a new idea, you have to be a campaigner for your cause. And that is exactly how Sylvia Caldwell, food industry specialist, describes herself. Caldwell comes up with solutions for others who want to get started in the food industry. She coaches, helps them launch new products and wade through government requirements. Yet Caldwell still finds the time to prepare home-cooked meals for her young family.
What word would you pick (other than “influential”) to describe yourself as a businesswoman?
I use the word campaigner to describe myself because I have very specific objectives for my business and believe that I can positively change the (food) industry with my ideas and actions. Although sometimes unconventional and seemingly impossible, the solutions I come up with are effective. For example, I developed a process to manufacture jam without commercial (chemically extracted) pectin. (The jam) is only minimally processed so we get the full benefit of the bioactives. Another project I have been working on is building a food and beverage business incubator, which I think is morphing into a co-packing facility. My business is one big campaign to push the envelope of the food industry in our region.
What was the toughest thing you had to deal with when getting into business?
It was really easy for me to give away free coaching and consulting, and I learned the hard way that I was to blame for de-valuing myself. I didn't feel comfortable asking for money, but now that I have clearly defined what I do and what my services are, it has given me the confidence to move forward and be paid what I am worth.
What was the last photo you took on your phone?
Someone else took the photo but it's of me jumping on the trampoline with my "Washing Your Hands Is Awesome" T-shirt.