Exceptional Businesswomen 2016: Jane Pahl keeps family at the center of her personal, professional life
By Andrew Miller
Jane Pahl wears many hats at Pahl’s Market in Apple Valley.
As co-owner of the family-run market and garden center with her husband, Gary, she serves as the Pahl’s Market representative within the community, through chambers and other organizations, and manages the business’ community fundraisers.
She’s also in charge of corporate sales for Pahl’s Community Supported Agriculture program. By purchasing shares at the onset of the growing season, CSA members receive fresh produce grown at Pahl’s own farmland in Dakota and Scott counties. Members in the CSA program pick up their “share box” each week during the CSA season.
“I would like to expand our CSA program even further,” Pahl said. “Last year we tripled our sales and we have so many ideas to not only improve the program for our current customers, but also expand for additional customers.”
Pahl began work at the market after getting married, and has been there 28 years.
She began her career at the staffing firm Kelly Services, then worked as a sales representative
and manager with Quality Temp.
She said her greatest business mentor was her husband’s grandmother, Myrtle Pahl.
“She had such a strong work ethic and had so many great pieces of advice for how to navigate a family-owned business,” Pahl said. “I looked to her many times for advice when I was first starting at Pahl’s Market.”
Finding new, exciting and relevant merchandise is one of the challenges facing the market and garden center.
“I do a lot of research before buying shows to ensure that our selection is unique and affordable,” Pahl said.
“The most significant opportunity for Pahl’s Market is the movement to eat locally grown fruits and vegetables. We pride ourselves in providing good quality products for every season, and finding innovative products for our garden center.”
Civic involvement, and giving back to community, are central to the business.
“One of the programs Pahl’s Market has been doing for 15 years that we are really proud of is our spring flower fundraiser,” she said. “This fundraiser has allowed us the opportunity to give back to our community organizations.
“Education and after-school activities are extremely important and we try to give back as much as we can to help the children of our community.”
Pahl’s Market is located at 6885 160th St. W., on Apple Valley’s southern border with Lakeville. Having the business in Dakota County is an advantage, said Pahl, a Lakeville resident.
“The members of this community support local business,” she said. “They provide helpful feedback so we can continue to grow and satisfy our customers.
“The other businesses within Dakota County are very supportive of one another and are actively involved in the business organizations this community offers.”
Her advice to other women professionals and business owners: “Do not be afraid to get in the action,” she said.
“Women have a very special skill set that is added to any business. I do not let anyone intimidate me because I know what value I bring to Pahl’s Market and this community.”
And knowing your strengths and weaknesses is invaluable, Pahl added.
“It will allow you to ask for help in areas that you need and take the wheel in areas of your strengths,” she said.
- On February 25, 2016