Design Your Escape: My Story Starting South Pond Farms

Course Info

Course Duration: 5h

Materials Included

  • Course Videos (1h 20m)
  • 32 Lessons
  • 10 PDF Exercises (optional)

About this Course

I am Danielle French, founder of South Pond Farms, a culinary and venue destination that I operated for 12 years. I also hosted the television series Taste of the Country formerly on Netflix. In 2018, I offered in-person master classes helping others find their dreams running their own business. After offering five successful two day courses, I decided to take the course online so that others could watch and learn from my experiences whenever they wish.

This course will include a series of videos of me talking about my own experiences, challenges and lessons paired with helpful lessons and resources for you to apply to your own business. The course has five chapters covering topics such as common challenges and barriers, developing the foundation of a marketing plan, understanding business financials and developing a business strategy and numerous stories about my own experience. In addition to the video, there are actionable worksheets and thought provoking exercises which you may wish to complete to help guide you to design your own escape!


  • This is a self paced course. It does not contain any assignments or grades for completion. There are several exercises which you may use to apply to your own situation, however they are not required and will not be submitted.

Instructor: Danielle French

What I will learn?

  • Learn from my own story and experiences to help you build and run your own business.
  • Troubleshoot early barriers and identify necessary resources to overcome roadblocks to growth and map out next steps.
  • Identify your "WHAT", "HOW" and "WHY" to clarify your business purpose.
  • Create the foundations of a marketing plan and learn how to incorporate your story into your communications.
  • Understand your audience so you can communicate more effectively with your customers and followers.
  • Understand the math of your business. Further your business both conceptually and practically through the implementation of strategic financial planning.
  • Use helpful tools and frameworks to assess and focus your ideas in order to make strategic decisions that align with your overall vision.

Browse Course Content

In this section I will introduce myself and my story. I explain why I started this course and outline what is to come in the chapters ahead.

  • Overview
  • Video: Introduction
  • Objectives

Chapter 1: The Beginning
In this chapter I share the summarized story of how South Pond Farms was started from the beginning. This included the big move from the city to the country, the problems I faced and how the business evolved over time. In the following chapters I will dig deeper into each of the topics.

Chapter 2: Finding clarity around your business and setting the foundation
In this chapter I will help you troubleshoot early barriers and identify necessary resources to overcome roadblocks to growth. I share my own experience navigating zoning and permitting and some critical steps (and mistakes) I made during the early years.

Chapter 3: Marketing My Story
In this chapter I discuss the fundamentals of a marketing plan by identifying your purpose, capturing your story and communicating effectively by understanding your customers and your business.

Chapter 4: Looking Under the Hood
In this chapter I provide resources to understand the math of your business. I share how I was able to further my own business both conceptually and practically through the implementation of strategic financial planning.

Chapter 5: Where To Go From Here?
In this chapter I reflect on my journey and review the key tools and takeaways for success covered in this course. Using everything we’ve learned so far, we can now set goals to guide us to where we want to be in the near and long term future.


Who is this course for?

  • You are searching for an idea to start your own business
  • You have an idea but don't know where to start
  • You already have a business but don't know how to find your next steps
  • You have rural property or are looking for rural property and want value-add inspiration
  • You have an interest in hospitality, events, tourism and food
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about my experience and South Pond Farms!