We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Emerson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mary, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I am going to speak for both my husband Larry and myself. Larry knew that the chemical research business was beginning to change with the merges of the chemical companies. Less research bids were becoming available. When a friend suggested the corn maze business was becoming popular, Larry decided that his land which had been used for research studies could be the ideal place to begin. I have always supported him in the businesses that he has started and knew that this was a business that I could be more hands on. While we started with Larry’s friend as a partner, I ended up buying his share of the business and became even more involved in the business.

What should our readers know about your business?
Our business is unlike other agriculturally-based businesses. While we are an independent farm, we are still part of a group called The Maize. This company (which has over 400 farm memberships) has helped in so many ways to encourage and support all the farms in the sharing of ideas. The common thread for the farms is having a corn maze with a particular design. People enjoy coming to the farm to “get lost”, but having fun doing so. We have had our projects that have flopped but most have flown. The key is to keep going, learn lessons from the mistakes and emphasize what we do best. We have tried to put most of our profits back into the farm by adding new features. We couldn’t do that the first few years until our business became more recognized. This year will be our 21st year for Dewberry Farm.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being part of the Houston area, there are almost unlimited places to go or dine out. I would want to show my friend our farm first. Shopping is always a bonding time with friends so we could go to a couple of larger malls (Memorial City or The Galleria). Mexican and Italian restaurants are particular favorites so we would have to go several: Carrabas and Alicia’s in Katy are a couple of close ones. Museums, particularly the Natural History Museum and the Children’s Museum (if children are part of the visit), are fun places to go. But to me the best aspect of friendship is the sharing time. Having dinner at home with a glass of wine and having a few other friends come over to meet my friend would be the best.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As I had mentioned, I have supported my husband in his businesses (he has had several that he started over the years). While he has been the impetus for me to be involved in our business, my family (two daughters), friends, church members and our employees have been there to encourage me. But I would say that the employees are what has kept going year after year. They understand more than others what it entails to run the business.

Website: dewberryfarm.com

Facebook: Dewberry Farm

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