Business Visit | Liberty Apple Orchard
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The dynamic husband and wife “EnCOREpreneur” team, Stephen and Lugene Miller, welcomed our group of 20 entrepreneurs to their beautiful apple orchard this morning!
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Almost 10 years ago, Steve and Lugene set out to create a local orchard that provided “simple joy” to our community. Together, they opened a family-owned, U-Pick orchard serving the Metro-east and St. Louis communities. While these two had never farmed and never owned their own business, they are living proof that business ventures can happen at ANY point in your life. You never know when an interest or opportunity could turn into something amazing.
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Steve and Lugene’s advice? “Do what you like, love what you do.” In life, and in any business, you will have “bad apples,” circumstances, people or situations that are not easy. To be successful, you have to push through the tough times and persevere.
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Whether you are a a large, billion-dollar company or a small, local apple orchard, the core of the business remains the same. You must know your numbers and have a thorough understanding of operating costs, revenue and profit. Steve and Lugene walked students through a real-life, break-even analysis that helped them decide when/if to participate in local farmers’ markets. An excellent example of how to project profit and loss!
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Their inspiring story and beautiful orchard are living proof that growing any successful business takes:
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• A mission, a calling
• Planning
• Commitment
• A “Learning orientation”
• Perseverance
• A good partner
• Prudent risk taking
• Flexibility
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The Millers are not only committed to providing delicious, local apples, they are tremendous leaders and supporters of our local community as well as financial investors in Edwardsville CEO!
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Steve and Lugene, THANK YOU for opening your doors to us and for the delicious apples! We are thrilled you chose Edwardsville to plant your roots and look forward to introducing you to our incoming CEO class!