Tyson Schaefer – BELLEVUE BERRY FARM & PUMPKIN RANCH

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Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Ranch is a locally owned and operated venue that not only offers an actual farm full of seasonal berries and pumpkins for picking each year, but also a destination for unique western themed activities and entertainment that’s fun for guests of all ages. Tyson Schaefer is the co-owner of Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Ranch.

Tell us a little about your business. – We began as a pick-your-own fruit and pumpkin farm specializing in strawberries and raspberries. As our business grew, we started to get into the catered lodge party business, doing weddings, reunions, birthday parties, and company parties. We currently have four halls that we rent out, ranging in three different sizes to accommodate parties of 75 – 400 people. We have over 150 larger parties a year and also do all of the catering for the meals. Our menu specializes in great down home Bar-B-Q, but also is versatile enough to accommodate most any menu. The pumpkin season is our busiest season, when we have many family activities including hayrides, play areas, animal areas, bounce houses and bounce pillow, corn maize, haunted house, and haunted hayrides. The farm also offers campfires and group outings starting in the spring through November. During our Halloween season we might have over thirty campfires a night.

How did you get started in the business? – We started our business 30 years ago, and before that my parents had a similar operation in Maryland.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – I think as a small business with a minimal amount of employees, it’s hard to have time to manage every aspect of our business. As with many small businesses, you have to do a lot of things and wear many hats to make your business successful.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – We are proud of the fact that we have personally built everything on the farm over the past 30 years. Most of our buildings are made with entirely salvaged materials.

Tell us a little about your family. – Our family all has a role within the business. My dad, his wife and daughter, plus my family as well as my brother’s family. The business demands that all of us work long hours, but we love to be at the farm.

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – I would say that the biggest thing for me and my brother was having kids. It’s fun to see them enjoy the farm and puts into perspective what we are accomplishing with the business.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – My family has a lake house at Beaver Lake that my grandma had owned for about 35 years, so we all like to go and enjoy the lake. We also like to ski in the winter time.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – I guess some good advice I’ve been given is to focus on what you do best. We all have certain talents at the farm that we are good at, so we’ve found it’s good to focus on what each of us can do and let other people handle stuff that they are good at.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – You can reach us by phone at (402) 331-2763 or via our website at bellevueberryfarm.com. Or you are more than welcome to stop by and see us!

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