We had the good fortune of connecting with David Edmondson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
At times my tenacity can be a huge asset or a curse, depending on how I apply it and to what end. In the case of my business, it’s my greatest strength. It’s not that I don’t ever feel overwhelmed or nearly beaten, but there’s just something inside that won’t let me quit this. As far as success goes; I don’t feel like a complete success, My business is still a one-man operation, so I’m rarely able to take a day off. But I’m doing what I love, My work doesn’t really feel like work. I don’t have to answer to a boss and I feel like my success or failure is entirely up to me – so in those regards, I’m successful. The financial success will come – I hope.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’ll have been in business as Salt and Savour Sauerkraut eight years in July 2021. This was very much a boot-strapped operation to begin and it’s still incredibly small. I had zero experience running a business, had no business specific education, no degree, and had been making sauerkraut as a hobby for about a year or two prior – talk about naive! As far as my product goes, I’ll put it up against any sauerkraut in the world as far as flavor and quality. My business knowledge probably hasn’t grown as quickly as my krautmaking ability, but I’m continuously learning and growing there as well. Revenues for 2021 are up nearly 40% over last year and it feels like this will be a real breakout year, with a necessity for hiring an employee or two. And man, am I ready to have some help!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I no longer live in a city, the best time ever here, would necessarily involve something outdoors. I spent my first 20 years in the midwest, then nearly 20 years in Southern California – mostly Pasadena, then moved to a very small town in far Northern California sixteen years ago. I love to fly-fish and that’s why I chose this location. So visitors usually expect their time here to involve some river activity and relaxation. I absolutely love where I live. I get a dose of city life every weekend when I deliver my product down to Sacramento and that’s just enough time in the city to satisfy me. The best part of my weekend is returning to Dunsmuir.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m lucky to have had some important role models early on in life. My step-father was one, although we had a tough start getting along. He was quite a disciplinarian and I resented that. But he also had one helluva work-ethic and that seems to have made an impression on me. I’m sure he remembers me as quite a lazy kid, without much direction or drive. That was true then. But he hasn’t seen me much as an adult and I think he’d be rather surprised at my drive and work-ethic now. So thank you, Wilbur Barnhart.
The other role model I had early on was my Scoutmaster. Yep, I was a Boy Scout and absolutely loved it. Harold Hoover gave me one of the single best pieces of advice I’ve ever received and I’ve tried to live up to it: “Nobody owes you anything”, he told me when I was about 13. I can see how someone might take that as a rather dismal point of guidance, but the way I thought about it seems entirely motivational. Since nobody owes me anything AND I need to work with others toward my goals, then I should be appreciative when someone offers to help and I should strive to be able to offer value to others so I can exchange with them.
Besides those two mentors, I’ve also taken what I consider ‘negative motivation’. By that I mean, being motivated by someone who didn’t try. I won’t name names on this point, but I think most of us have known older people who lamented not trying their business idea when they were younger. I was 48 when I started my business and one of my driving desires was not to end up 80 years old and wishing I would have given it a shot. I thought it was better to try and fail, rather than never to try at all.