100 Mile House, Cariboo
Big Sky Ranch
100 Mile House, Cariboo
Big Sky Ranch,founded in 2019 is a small business operation located in beautiful Cariboo. We operate under organic principles and offer farm fresh products such as free range eggs, custom made wood products and gifts.Our main focus are handmade soap bars and other skin care products,made with fresh goatmilk from our own animals. Sustainability is our main emphasis,all ingredients for our products are grown and harvested right here at the ranch. As a side business ,we operate a small horse breeding facility and raise dressage horses and show jumpers.
In Business Since 2019
What motivated you to start your business, what challenges did you overcome?
Our production of goat milk has a long tradition. Back home in Switzerland,the costumers market is one that heavily focuses on sustainability and local production of daily care products,therefor we were already selling handmade goat milk soap with great success. A main difference was though that those soaps goat milk ingredients was derived from powdered goat milk,not from fresh milk. At that time,we already knew that only using fresh goat milk will provide the full range of beneficial properties when it comes to skin care. After immigrating to Canada and getting settled on our rual property,we started building and modified an old shed,changing it into a goat stable-having our plans already in mind,we added a milking room to it as well as seperated stalls for the animals. We fenced a large area with proper goat fencing and build shelters in order to provide the highest level of comfort for our future animals. After a lot of carful research,we finally found a small goat herd which matched our criteria,and took a long trip up to Prince George in order to bring them home. As soon as they settled in,we started with milking them. Our business idea became real,and we were starting the soap production. This process wasnt an easy one,we experienced many failed attempts,and a lot of adaptations to the original recipe we started with. After roughly a year,we finally had the perfect recipe-and were completely happy with the final product. Now we were finally able to produce larger batches. Our widespread presence at local and regional events and farmers markets was the perfect strategy to introduce our business and our products to our future customers it did not take long,and word-of-word from excited customers sharing their experience kicked in and boosted our business idea. Our geographic location is perfect for raising goats,we produce our own hay right here on the property. The combination of offering a unique product,created after our very own formula,and fully sourced from our own resources(the goat milk,the forage,the herbs,and flowers),is excatly what we were aiming for from the start. We are operating our business based on organic principles,no harsh chemicals are used and no ingredients that have a negative environmental footprint,as for example no palm oil,plus,our products are cruelty free.
Why do you deserve to win the Best Innovation award?
Our product range is unique- no other small local business offers the same quality. There are several soap makers in the neighboring community of 100 Mile House, but none of them is using fresh goat milk for their products, and most of them are using questionable ingredients like palm oil, artificial fragrances and dyes. It is definitely a cost factor, but our idea is straight forward to keep our environmental impact as small as possible, and most important of all, to provideour customers with a product they can trust, that has been tested without any questionable methods (we are our own testers) abd that consists of ingredients that come from trusted sources from the very beginning to the very end of the production line. In order to improve our setup and consequently serve our customers even better, we are planning on building a new and bigger setup for our goats and our meat birds, including a heated room to be prepared for anything during a Cariboo cold snap, and a feed chamber for better storage. This will ensure the reliability of our supply chains for our customers in this communityand improve a lot of our current processes. And eventually widen our product range and guarantee our high approach when it comes to the quality of our products.