A LITTLE ABOUT MYSELF • I am Joe Halter. • I have a B.B.A., with a major in Accounting from W.M.U. • I have over 25 years of accounting work experience. • I have always wanted to run my own business. • In the past I have operated a lawn care business and an income tax preparation business.
RELATED EXPERIENCE • I have always loved to grow plants of all kinds. • While in high school I worked at a tree nursery. • I have extensive experience propagating plants. • I currently have a 16’ X 24’ greenhouse.
MY BUSINESS IDEA • I would like to grow and distribute wasabi. • Wasabi is a semi-aquatic plant • Native to the Japanese mountains • Wasabi is used to make a condiment, mainly used with sushi. • It also has medical uses. • It is a member of the same plant family as horseradish and cabbage. • Most of what is called wasabi in the market today is fake. Made from horseradish and green food coloring.
MY BUSINESS IDEA • Real wasabi is cherished by the Japanese and I am told it is much better tasting. • Because of its perceived difficulty in growing there is a short supply. • There is a high demand for real wasabi and it is growing rapidly. • With the rising popularity of sushi in the U.S., demand for real wasabi here is growing here too.
JOBS • Planting, harvesting, and maintenance of crop • Processing into the finished product and packaging • Micro-propagation lab to create young wasabi plants • Office staff • Marketing • Miscellaneous jobs • Outside vendors.
COMMUNITY BENEFITS • This regional area could become a large producer of wasabi. • If the conditions can be produced to make it profitable to economically grow wasabi here, other crops could be grown here. • Research in the use of alternative energy sources in my project could benefit other current industries in the area and new ones. Geothermal energy for instance. • Additional research opportunities could develop. • Diversifying the economy.
MY NEXT STEPS • Talk to agriculture professionals. • Talk to alternative energy engineers. • Talk to regular engineers. • Talk to local sushi restaurant owners. • Talk to local, state and federal government officials. • Talk to financial professionals.