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Nature Calls

Taking your business to the great outdoors

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This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Ahh,spring. The scent of freshly mown grass, the eye-popping florescence of your blossoming garden, thrushes whistling joy in your back yard. Ahh, spring-yet another reason for your office-tethered comrades to hate you.

One of the brighter perks of working at home is escaping the confines of four walls to take your business onto the patio, deck, yard, poolside or even the driveway during the more forgiving months of the year. "We usually keep the garage door open all the time when we're [shipping sample products]," says Debra Parks Root, 34-year-old founder of Mrs. Malibu Foods Inc., a low-fat peanut butter company she runs out of her one-acre, ocean-view home in Malibu, California. Though she estimates her sales will reach $3 million this year, she hasn't forsaken the comforts of home, maintaining the company's headquarters in her guesthouse with her garage as a shipping station. "If it's a nice day and we want a little sun, we take the tables out of the garage and sit in the driveway."

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