After Ralph and Jen D’Aubin gave up their jobs to focus on their dream of opening their own business, there was no turning back.
The two NSCC graduates, Ralph from the former meat-cutting course and Jen with a diploma in human services, are set to open a brand new business in Bridgetown this summer – D’Aubin Family Meats.
“We’ve wanted to do it forever, it’s always been a passion for Ralph but we wondered how it would be possible. Between finding the money, preparing a business plan, giving up our current jobs – we didn’t know how it would work,” Jen explains. “Then it just came together in a crazy, fantastic way.”
A former colleague of Jen's at Peopleworx helped them with a proper business plan and opened the couple’s eyes when he said, ‘I think this could really work.’
Jen points to the creation of a business plan as the real “turning point”. They edged into the venture by preparing and selling Ralph’s famous sausages at a local market each Tuesday in Bridgetown, making a name for themselves locally. The outpouring of support they received inspired their decision in January 2013 to “give it their all."
Through the many ups and downs of starting a business, Jen and Ralph simply decided to stay positive. Jen, as the promoter of the enterprise, says it did take longer and cost more than they expected – just as many had warned. But as soon as the business plan was put in play, they used the positive support of their silent partner and the community that pitched in through a crowd-sourcing appeal. Before they knew it, their dream was becoming a reality.
Fellow NSCC grad and Bridgetown restaurateur Chantelle Reid says, “We’re just one business in the area to benefit from D’Aubin Family Meats, incorporating it into our menu at The Eggplant Café. We love promoting local produce and we’ve added the ‘Ralphie’ to our menu to celebrate the family’s work and commitment to quality.” Chantelle adds, “This sort of entrepreneurial spirit is really lifting the spirits of everyone in our community.”
With four children, a new home and new business set to open, Jen and Ralph are as excited as expectant parents and so grateful to have had so much help from their family, friends and community.
Jen’s advice to any budding entrepreneur: “If you believe in something and work for it – you can make it happen.”