Recently, I took my first trip to Palm Springs. The hotel was amazing, the food was amazing, and it was nice and hot! Before we left the area, my boyfriend wanted to stop at a Date Garden. I have never been to a date garden and only recently started actually eating them.
So, we stopped at the famous Shield’s Date Garden in Indio, CA. From the outside it does not look like much, but once you walk inside it’s a completely different experience. There is so much to look at, free samples, a cafe, and their famous date shake. We walked around looking at all the nik-naks and sat down to grab a bite at the cafe. I ordered the stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. YUM!
This small business is able to stand out among the rest and has become a place of tourism. Shield’s Date Farm was founded by Floyd and Bess Shields who brought their love for dates to California in 1924.
Floyd was a pioneer in the date business, breeding his own varieties of dates, such as our famous “Blonde” and “Brunette” dates, that are exclusive to Shields Date Garden and grown nowhere else in the entire world. He also invented the Date Crystal®, a blend of dates turned into a dry product that can be used in cooking, on cold cereals and in everyone’s favorite: date shakes. Date Crystals® do not need refrigeration and when kept in a moisture-proof container will last for many years— without preservatives.
People stop at this place for the dates! This is truly a niche business and they have successfully taken advantage of it.
I believe there are valuable life lessons to be learned from small businesses such as Shields Date Garden.
1. Differentiate Yourself: If you want people to notice you, you want to be different from everyone else. You should make a lasting impression on people. Floyd’s business was able to differentiate themselves because there was no shop like it even close to the area. Today, their products are still what differentiate them from others. The key is to make yourself STAND OUT! On your resume you can make yourself stand out by your volunteer activities. In the classroom you can make yourself stand out by participating in all the discussions. You can make yourself stand out at your job by doing more than what is expected of you.
2. Be Passionate About Something: You should strive to do things that you are passionate about. Whether it is opening up with a business, running a marathon, or writing. Just do something you enjoy and decide if it is something to pursue as a career or to keep as a hobby. Floyd was passionate about dates and decided to open up his own date garden. He even had a short film made, entitled Romance and Sex Life of the Date which is continuously shown inside the shop.
3. Try New Things: I strongly believe that you should try to experience new things throughout your life. You can take a class outside of your major, try a new food, take salsa lessons, or travel. Not matter what, you should always try something new everyday even if it is something small. Floyd tried new things by putting in a cafe and creating new products that are only manufactured by his company.
Have you ever been do Shield’s Date Garden? Please let me know what you think about it in the comments.