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|Startup Nation: Entrepreneurship, Bahamas-Style (Arthur's Bakery)|
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|Posted by:||Apr 13th 2005, 04:40:28 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||Entrepreneurship Bahamas style: Robert Arthur left NYC & Miami to own a bakery in the Islands
Date: April 9, 2005
Guest: Robert Arthur
Company: Arthur's Bakery
Radio clip: Owner of Arthur’s Bakery chooses his ideal lifestyle first and then fits his business into his life plan
Robert Arthur grew up in New York City, wrote a screenplay at 16 that was purchased by Mary Tyler Moore Productions, worked in the television industry and lived the fast-paced life in Miami ... and then he and wife Anna headed to Harbour Island in the Bahamas 17 years ago and have never looked back. Robert owns Arthur's Bakery and lives the life of an island entrepreneur.
Is it really the paradise that he envisioned? We chat with Robert about the blessings and challenges of island entrepreneurship and the meaning of "soon come":
Q: What are the coolest Bahamian businesses that you know that were started by people escaping the U.S.? (in addition to yours!)
A guy from Seattle started Island Seaplanes. They do charters to the " Family Islands ” from Nassau. All the hot shots from the US who own private islands need seaplanes to get to them. So they get off the G5 Jet and jump on these seaplanes to get to their destination!
Tiamo Resort is an eco resort in Andros. It features solar power, wind power and all that clean earth-saving eco stuff, but it's comfortable. They have a nice balance.
Goodfellow farms is another cool one. It's an organic farm in Eleuthera. They are now in Nassau, and doing well.
All of these folks are from the US or Canada, and work well with the Islands and the people.
Q: Do island entrepreneurs work just as hard as big city entrepreneurs? (you mentioned a 4 am wake-up time to bake!)
In the Islands you have to work harder, because there is not the same labor pool as in the US, plus the Islands are more laid back. The people are mellow and not rushed, so you sometimes forget that the reasons you love the place, are the same reasons you may get impatient with it. "Soon come" is the attitude...it means ‘whenever I get there'.
Q: Who should NOT consider opening their dream business on an island paradise?
Anyone who says "In the US, or where I come from we do it this way..." should not move to the Islands. If you need things done your way, and that's the only way you want it, that's not gonna work here. You've got to be able to get along with the people in the towns.
And you must read Herman Wouk's "Don't Stop The Carnival". If you still come after that, you'll be fine.
Q: You were an entrepreneur at 16 years of age in New York City, what are the biggest differences between city & island small businesses?
Major differences include infrastructure -- the power and water go off sometimes, more often as you go to the smaller islands. Boats don't bring supplies sometimes -- that means another week before the next boat comes.
You just deal with it the best you can and remember, "soon come"!
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