After retiring from West Grove-based Dansko, which they founded three decades ago, Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup decided to embark on a new business venture in Belize, writes Katie Park for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Kennett Square couple grew their business of selling small clogs into a multimillion-dollar operation. It became recognized by industry professionals as a modern and ethically run organization that stood proudly in a sphere with the likes of Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia.
Now, they are focusing on regenerative farming in Belize, a business model they hope will be just as ethically significant.
Nine months ago, the pair began buying 27,000 acres of land in Silk Grass, a tropical village in Belize. Around 3,000 acres were severely degraded farmland that urgently needed to be rehabilitated using agroforestry and permaculture. The remaining acres are rainforest and will be set aside as a preserve.
Cabot and Kjellerup named their business Silkgrass Farms and rehired 100 Belizeans for the farm and existing fruit-processing plant. After the land is rehabilitated, they are planning to grow avocado, citrus, coconut, mango, pineapple, and vanilla crops.
Read more about Silkgrass Farms in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.