Our passion for camel milk began in Saudi Arabia, where our founder, Walid, was visiting his family in his hometown of Jeddah. He was approached by a friend with a plastic bag of camel milk that looked “really fresh—and tasted soo good,” Walid recalls. But then he couldn’t find it anywhere in stores—only the Bedouins sold it. Since you can stop a camel herder by the road in Jeddah, it was no big deal to the locals, right? But he fell in love with it and he knew other people would, too. He quickly realized that great-tasting camel milk naturally provided the strength he needed during CrossFit. He found himself craving the good feeling he got from camel milk.
When Walid moved to California, he appreciated how people valued a healthy lifestyle. He realized this was the perfect place to start a camel milk company. After selling camel milk at mosques and ethnic food festivals, Walid’s business plan won the Marcia Israel Award from USC, so he decided to leave his corporate real estate position and began his camel adventure.
Having made the big commitment, he went courting the world, trying to spark a Camel Milk Revolution, and found the greatest and most friendly people. While looking for US camel herders, in the Midwest he came across a group known for being polite and down-to-earth, a group who didn’t exist in the Middle East: the wonderful Amish community, who exemplify hard work and cooperation. Watching them work together was and remains awesome to Walid. “Networking through social media just isn’t the same as teaming up with neighbors to build a barn,” he says. “If you ask an Amish farmer why they're successful, don't expect a lot of soul-searching or reflection on what they do right—the Amish will likely pin the praise on anyone else but themselves.” Walid felt that they deserved an easier way to bring their products to market, and he loves the quality of their camel milk!
Desert Farms is now bringing these rural farm families’ products to eager consumers in California and other states. “It’s exciting to bridge gaps between communities that are far apart,” he says. Small start-up companies like Desert Farms can offer real value to customers who care about what’s in and behind their products.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We made our first sale through Shopify same day after we officially launched.
Google generates the most traffic for us.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
Our favorite apps are Shopad, YotPo, Chimpified, Shopify google shopping and Shopify facebook store. We use Shopify order printer to generate our orders and we automatically send notifications to our farmers to milk our camels and send the bottles to our customers or to retail stores.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
1) Traffic is key to your stores success so invest some of your time on building your ranks on search engines and social media.
2) There are many useful apps that integrate well with Shopify so try them out and see what makes sense for your store.
3) If you can drop ship your products, then do it.