A timeout from American Cheese chat to spotlight a successful family-run operation near Vancouver:
Their parents tossed around ideas for several possible business ventures to keep their daughters involved in the family’s rural Maple Ridge property at the edge of creeping suburbia. By last year, only 50 acres remained of the property that Jenna and Emma Davison’s family had owned and parcelled off over the last hundred years. Their dad, Kerry, and his wife, Lynn, thought about a yogurt business, but ultimately decided on artisanal cheese, in part because his brother’s dairy farm was next door.
“I was going into nursing and my sister was just finishing up school doing horticulture and agriculture,” said Emma, 22, of the day in 2010 when the family had a meeting. “They came to us with the idea, ‘If you sign up, this is for life.’
“Signing the shareholders agreement was the smartest and best decision we’ve ever made.”
The agreement gave each daughter a 10-per-cent stake and split the rest between the two parents, which Emma jokes means Kerry can technically be outvoted by the three women.