By: Tony Huey
Nearly six years ago, I moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Lubbock, Texas, taking a promotion with my company selling medical testing to healthcare systems, hospitals, clinics, and medical providers. It was an awesome opportunity for both my career and personal growth, and it was the 5th time that I had moved for a career opportunity. I loved my job, my boss, the company I worked for, and all those who I served. Little did I know, in less than a year, my life would change forever.
It had been a long day at work, on the road early, getting home late, basically one of my more typical days. As I was settling in, at my apartment, one of my best friends and college roommates, Josh, was calling. We didn’t talk often, but I have a small group of best friends, and when I see any of them, regardless of how often we speak, it’s like we pick up right where we left off. “What’s up?” I answered.
“What’s up bro?” Josh responded, and we exchanged pleasantries for a short bit. Eventually the real conversation started, “You want to go in on some land? I have this idea of buying land and building a compound with friends,” he said.
This was always a childhood dream, so of course I said, “Yes!” I was doing well at my job, and I was overcome with thoughts of happiness as I always wanted to own land, and the only thing that would make it better would be having my best friends for neighbors.
Josh then hit me with the surprise twist, and he continued, “our community is going to be built around a truffle farm.”
My wheels were turning. “What are truffles?” I thought. “Like the truffle parmesan popcorn at Alamo Drafthouse?” I continued to ponder.
Josh explained a little more, and said, “I talked to Mickey and he’s down.” Mickey was one of our best friends and roommates when we were at Florida State University. “I’ll send you some stuff, and let me know what you think. When we’re successful, the land value will increase exponentially,” Josh said. Shortly after, we wrapped up the conversation. I was so intrigued by the idea, still thinking about owning land and living with friends, but I had a lot of research to do.
Not too long after, Josh sent me a drawing of how he envisioned this community. It was numerous acres with lots divided for home sites, where we would live, and in the center of it all was, you’ve got it, a truffle farm. At this point, I was going down a rabbit hole, and I was intent on finding as much information on truffles as I could, and believe it or not (internet and all), you truly had to dig for this information. So much has been kept secret...
In my research, I learned a bit more about what truffles actually were, and I ultimately concluded there was a market for truffles. This market was a global niche, for fine dining, in which demand has gone up drastically over time, yet the supply had continually fallen. Economics 101 taught me, if you can produce this product, it will certainly sell.
I was in!
And that is how it all started.