Design Your Escape

Build a Value-Based Business, Grow Community through Hosted Events


I'm Danielle French, owner of South Pond Farms, a 60-acre special event country venue nestled within the Bethany Hills of Southern Ontario.  

I am also author of the South Pond book series and host of 'Taste of the Country', a series on

It would be an honour to help inspire you on a journey to create your dreams. 

Start Living Your Dreams

Life is busy and hectic. With bills to pay and responsibilities to take care of, there just never seems to be a good time to think about making a change let alone pursuing your dreams.  

Why take a risk? After all, things are going well, why take a chance and make changes? 

Isn’t it better to stay on the path you’re on and play it safe? 

You might be close to retirement, but not ready to give up working. You want to do something you love and live in a place that you love.  

Right now, you are not doing that and don’t feel connected.  

  • Your home is now feeling larger and emptier.  
  • You are doubting your abilities to run your own business.  
  • Is it possible to take your hobby and turning it into a business, you ask yourself?  
  • You may feel like you're lacking in confidence.  
  • You don’t want to work harder, but smarter, and be able to give back to your community.  
  • There are so many municipal rules and regulations and it is hard to know which ones apply which ones don’t.
  • Where do you start?  
  • It feels overwhelming. 

What if your dream life was possible now?  

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an opportunity to do something creative that you love and earn some extra money at the same time? Imagine if you could use the extra space in your home for overnight accomodation or holding classes, or events. What if you purchased your dream property in the country and were able to find ways for it to make money for you? How would you like to have your hobby become your primary source of inspiration, income and opportunity?  

Introducing “Design Your Escape" Build a Value-Based Business, Grow Community through Hosted Events  

I am pleased to offer a two-day intensive workshop that offers meaningful and useful strategies for designing your escape. 


Together, with like-minded participants, we will work through your home-based business idea and develop a personalized “toolkit” you can take home and build on. Participants will also receive personal follow up from me.

During the two-day workshop we will cover: 

  • How to write a business plan  
  • How to identify your niche and develop a marketing outline 
  • How to tell your story to others 
  • How to navigate general municipal guidelines and rules
  • Which resources will you need

What You Can Expect

South Pond Farms Masterclass

Our workshop will be full of lively discussion and hands-on exercises. We’ll be taking your concept – whether it’s a desire to open a B&B, an event space, or simply to run workshops – and, step-by-step, identifying how to turn it into an actual business. I’ll not only share what I’ve learned through personal experience, I’ll also provide useful resources you can use to bring your passion to life.  

South Pond Masterclass

This full two-day experience will help you take some critical steps and to gather the essential tools you will need. Our retreat will be intimate, so that we can all speak and work together. 

My goal is to help you avoid common pitfalls, especially the ones that I ran into, and get off on the right foot as you think about your next steps.  

Ours will be a like-minded “master class” of people willing to share their experience and creativity balanced with one-on-one brainstorming and guidance.  

You will leave with a meaningful workbook that will enable you to develop an action plan for your next steps 

Here's what participants said about our previous class ...

  • "Thank you so much for the amazing experience and knowledge. This was an unforgettable experience." 
  • "Loved the time here. Learned how to let things go and get excited about other possibilities. Helped me realize my dreams are reasonable and doable." 
  • "Helped me focus on next steps ..." 
  • "It's been inspiring! I feel motivated to go forward with my business." 
  • "So much valuable could have been three days easily!" 
  •  "Clarity on how to map out my many ideas." 
  • "Wonderfully presented and an overall great learning experience" 
  • "This was a real presentation, Danielle specifically advised each person's visions ,and helped solve their problems." 
  • "Excellent experience"  
  •  "Danielle's experience and challenges helped me addressing my own issues."  
  • "... encouraging and interactive."  
  •  "I gained greater understanding of the ins and outs... understanding the municipal hurdles."  
  • "I had little business background, yet I found this workshop very informative, easy to understand. It boost my confidence." 
  • "What I loved were Danielle's stories... a wealth of knowledge and experience. She is approachable." 
  •  "I got a sense of direction and action steps to move forward with my idea. It was so helpful to have the issues that Danielle and South Pond experienced to help me with my own plan. "  
  • "I love how Danielle took the time to address everyone individual ideas and provided insightful points of view. "  
  • "I came away with more than I expected. I know about what I don’t want to do as well as other ideas of what I want. That’s just as important to me."  
  • "I really appreciated Danielle’s story of her business and both struggles and achievements. It was great to hear how challenges were overcome. I feel connected now to other like-minded people."  
  • "It’s a chance to share ideas with others also thinking about what to do. I loved meeting and connecting with others."  
  • "I’d like to learn more about the wedding business and would like Danielle to host a specific workshop just about that. I’m inspired and appreciate the honesty about the business. Danielle presented a very realistic picture of what it means to start this type of business."  
  • "I now feel like I can make a real plan with next steps that work for me."  


Where: The two-day retreat will take place at beautiful Iron Horse Ranch in Bethany, Ontario. You will be sent driving directions and accommodation options.

When: Next Masterclass TBA. The event will begin at on the Friday @ 9:30 am and concludes on the Saturday @ 5 pm and includes:  

DAY 1: Snacks, lunch, and a farm-fresh dinner 

DAY 2: Breakfast, lunch, and snacks  

  • Special dietary requirements can be accommodated.  
  • You will also receive a tour of both Iron Horse Ranch and South Pond Farms.  

Spots are extremely limited so if you want to guarantee yourself a spot, I encourage you to sign up early.


Why should you work with me?  

I know what it’s like, I’ve been in your shoes. 

At one time, I asked myself these exact same questions, and then some.  

A number of years ago I was motivated by my life circumstances - I was divorced, and I had four young daughters. 

I wanted a different life for them, one that was away from a busy urban life, connecting to land, growing our own food and living a simpler life. 

I wanted to start a business from my home so I could be with them, but despite a desire to honour my creative and entrepreneurial side, I was afraid and nervous about what could happen. 

Danielle French

It Just Takes One Idea

One day an idea came to mind: to make prepared food from my garden and sell it to others. I called it Farm Flavours. I took the first step and sent out an email to friends with a short story about the menu, letting them know what I was offering. The girls and I watched as email orders came in across the computer screen and I have never looked back. I asked myself what I loved, how I wanted to live, what my skills were and in small incremental steps I made a plan. I was pretty sure I didn’t know what I was doing, but I forged ahead learning as I went along.  

That was my beginning. One thing led to another and the business grew. And now, the phrase people tell me more than anything is that I’m “living the dream”.  

Looking Back

One component I wish I had in those early months was someone with experience to help me and guide me through planning my business. I would have loved for some guidance with thinking of the bigger picture and the long term, the municipal guidelines, what the costs could be and helping me prioritize what was important and what was not. The marketing - how could I get the word out to others? Having someone to lend advice and experience would have saved me money and valuable time right from the very start.  

I understand how difficult it is to take the first steps in a business like this. When I started out there were a lot of uphill battles, tears, and stress. But in the end it has a rewarding experience and absolutely worth all the hard moments.  

My Mission

And that’s why I want to help you. I want to help you prioritize and focus and get going with your ideas using some of my own experiences and real life situations as guidelines. I have had to learn about construction, municipal guidelines, about farming and profit margins, banking and creating business plans, needing money, knowing when it was time to invest and time to just hold off; all while being a mom and running a household.  

That’s what I want to share with you. I want you to benefit from my experience so you can get started “living the dream”. 

Danielle French

Danielle French Entrepreneur, Author, Host of NETFLIX "Taste of the Country" 

About me I am the owner of South Pond Farms and an event-planning business. In mid-life, I made a pivotal change and embraced the possibilities. I moved from the city to the country to find a simpler way of life, grow my own food, and experience the beauty of the land. Together with my partner, Shawn, we restored a dilapidated barn and the surrounding land and turned it into one of Ontario’s premier event spaces. 

South Pond Farms has received numerous entrepreneurial and business innovation awards. 

I host weddings, corporate events, workshops, and field-to-table suppers. 

I am also author of the South Pond book series and host Taste of the Country on Netflix. 

I have a proven track record of developing a successful and creative business from the ground up.  

Frequently-Asked Questions

Where can I stay overnight?  

There are a number of places in the immediate area. Please give us a call and we can help.  

What if I don’t really know what I want to get out of the experience?  

Honestly, if you’re in the idea stage of your business or exploring the possibilities of what could be next for you, this is a common feeling. This program will not only cover business startup guidelines, but it will allow you to explore a number of ideas and issues so you can figure out what is likely to work in your particular circumstance. I know you will leave with a clearer direction no matter where you are in your journey.  

Will I feel comfortable if I don’t know anyone and come by myself?  

We’ll all be there for the same reasons. This environment is welcoming and safe.  

Will I get my money’s worth?  

If getting your money’s worth means leaving with an understanding of how the back end of a business functions and a tangible plan that you can get started on right away, then yes, you’ll get your money’s worth. Remember, though, it will still take hard work on your part to put it all into action.


Next Masterclass date will be announced soon. The price for this two day workshop is: $1,400 CDN. If you register within the early-bird timeline, (we will post that) the price will be $1,150.  

Our previous workshops sold out in a few days, so please do register early as participation is limited. Accommodation at Iron Horse Ranch is available, please indicate if you are interested in this on your registration and we will connect with you then.