Recipient: Walton Wood Farm Corp.
Total funding allocated: $100,000
The story behind Walton Wood Farm is a journey that involves an entrepreneurial mom establishing a business out of her kitchen, the restoration of an 1850s barn, a growing rural Renaissance and a pig named Walton.
When CEO Leslie Bradford-Scott and her husband Peter Scott purchased an aging farm on 140 acres they wanted to pursue non-farming income to sustain themselves, sought to create rural jobs, and were committed to restoring the historic barns to ensure they would not disappear from the rural landscape in Bailieboro. Their farm kitchen turned into the production space for Walton Wood Farm’s line of specialty body and bath products, which were loaded into a pick-up truck and sold to local businesses. To expand the business, profits were re-invested into product development and into barn restoration, all while entrepreneurial Leslie continued to learn how to run her own business. She raised funds through online campaigns and grassroots efforts, presented herself and her company on Dragon’s Den, and applied for government support. She and Peter were committed to expanding and diversifying their business and restoring the historic barns on their property for future generations to enjoy.
The company was able to rebound from challenges in their early years through good advice and support from banks, other entrepreneurs and FedDev Ontario. Today, Walton Wood Farm’s catalogue has grown to over 130 products, including the cleverly named, “Boys Don’t Stink” fumigator and “Me-Time” gift set.
When looking to expand their offerings into a line of all-natural pet grooming products, Walton Wood Farm applied for and received a $100,000-non-repayable contribution through FedDev Ontario’s Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF). The company has already secured distribution agreements with several companies across North America for the new pet line.
“The WEF funding allowed us to develop the pet line in three months, rather than three years, giving us a huge competitive advantage and an avenue to cross-sell into a brand new vertical market. In addition, we have been able to double-down on our initiatives with a 92-page wholesale product catalogue, increasing our product portfolio from 80 products to 132. If we did not have FedDev Ontario support, we would be years behind on our product development efforts," says Bradford-Scott.
Most recently, Walton Wood Farm capitalized on the opportunity to respond to COVID-19 by launching a new line of pandemic-friendly products like Year from Hell hand cream to heal over-sanitized hands and Front-Line Rescue, a product line that aims to seal moisture into frequently washed and sanitized hands.
And Walton the pig? He remains the farm’s mascot and represents the company’s commitment that no animals are ever harmed in the making of their products.