We had the good fortune of connecting with Kemi Pavlocak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kemi, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Besides providing a local relief to isolation and loneliness through our store. As a company we are extremely engaged in the multiple issues that plague the community. Many issues that linger and become entrenched in our most vulnerable communities are because the people are just so busy trying to survive. There isn’t much room left to decipher government plans, codes, laws, funding. So the community become forgotten especially in rural areas. We have become an advocate to highlight problems that are brought to us or that we can observe through our interactions with the community. Hopefully through small victories the community can heal, thrive, and develop more advocates that can voice their concerns. Right now we are very focused on the digital divide, this isn’t anything new but COVID has made it more urgent.
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?
O’Shun’s Orchard LLC first started with 80 acres of raw trashed land that we saw so much potential in. Adjacent to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park it was still so beautiful to us. Becoming our first land development project to create the ultimate agrotourism experience in San Diego High Desert. Turn 80 acres into a sustainable working fruit orchard integrated with aquaculture and the native chaparral. For our visitors pleasure various embedded lodging structures (caves) and an underground cidery. Yep we got big dreams but then it gets better, the local market became available. This store was the only commercial business in town, we couldn’t let it shut down. A town needs a market. Montezuma Valley Market became our window into the community and we are so grateful for it. Allowing us to see and understand the area that we are doing business. Now, it probably was the hardest thing we’ve done. Retail store front really converges the relationship of a business to the government, public, and other businesses. It gets messy and so frustrating. But we are still standing and gaining traction. Pivoting a few times to know what works in a rural tourist area. Our key products are local raw honey, local handmade furniture, and craft beer. Our honey deserves a page of it own. Our bees reside on the high elevation 80 acres that boasts endless shmorgasbord of shrubs, desert flowers, and cacti. And to add to that I am the beekeeper!! My ladies (bees) are so pampered. I make it a point to harvest no more than 20% of their surplus, and its all done in small batch collection. I can say without a doubt that my bees are happy and well fed. I’m so proud of them. O’Shun’s Orchard also as a tech development segment. This where we see technology as a way to solve problems we’ve encountered in building our business. First issue we are currently in design phase for is pest management, I just didn’t like the options available to me while planning for the orchard. Very certain most small farmers/orchardist feel the same way. Let me nerd out here, O’Shun’s Orchard is creating a system of systems. The systems are very different but all are needed in order for the (whole) system to work properly in the long term. Ok, I’m done.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For the beaches, I would take my friends out to Ocean Beach then over to Coronado and to finish up the day in Imperial Beach. Next day is in the city. We would visit Balboa Park and maybe a Museum then we head over to Bronx pizza @111 Washington st for some pizza for lunch. For the evening, hit up Gas Lamp and finish out the day. Day 3 would be animal day with the choice of Sea world, San Diego Zoo, or the wild animal Safari. Day 4 is to check out the agriculure scene, visit some orchards and vineyards throughout the North County. Day 5 Padres game and brewery tour. There are so many go eats there, hard to choose. Day 6 Backcountry cruise, grab sandwiches at Dudley’s, go to Galleto Meadows in Anza-Borrego State Park, up to Palomar them Cuyamaca mountain, finish the afternoon with a swim at Green Valley Falls
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Goodness, I truly believe you can’t make it in business alone. I must shout out my best friend and partner Mike Pavlocak. We make an amazing team and are so grateful for each other. This company would not have started without him. My next shoutout goes to the sisterhood. My lady friends that have assisted and supported me from the very beginning. Then lastly to the SCORE program. I’ve benefited so much by finding amazing mentors that really know their stuff, thus helping me navigate the treacherous early stages of a business.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.