Honey Sales and Beekeeping

My favorite part of our business is taking care of bees. They’re just interesting–it’s so much fun that we forgive them for inflicting a little pain from time to time :) Most of our revenue, however, comes from honey sales.

Our dad started out with a hobby business that mostly sold out of the family home outside of Fairfield (IA). After a move to Lynnville and a daily commute to Des Moines, he gradually picked up a number of grocery stores where we still market “Pure Iowa Honey”. He still does most of the distribution by running our delivery routes on alternate weeks. Alex and I handle some of the deliveries from time to time.

Here is the storefront of our latest grocery store: Coralville Hy-Vee in Lantern Park Plaza.

It’s a satisfying feeling to see your honey on the shelf, and grocery stores are often willing to let in a local producer to fill a niche on the shelf. The thing to remember is that managers hate to see shelf space go empty. If it happens too much, be prepared to see a new product that has replaced yours when you do get around to checking.

One other thing about marketing honey in little bottles with tidy labels on a grocery store shelf has always been a bit strange to me: The transition of honey going from a box carried on a hot summer day into a bottle sitting on a shelf in the middle of winter.

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