Hello Honey Lover!
For awhile now I wanted to post something, somewhere online about my story of this business. I get pretty wordy, and I am not a trained writer, but I know my business and I would love to share some information about our company with you. Hence a blog.
I guess I will start with my name, I'm Barbara Kreller. You can call me Barb (but don't tell my Mom) My business is Sweet Infusion honey and we make flavoured honey! Its been 5 years of me having a legitimate business and it still feels weird to say that. My business website has been running for about 2.5 years, but we've been making and sharing honey under this name for about 7 years.
I am asked all the time about where this idea came from, and it is kind of a funny story. Jason, my husband, had been asked by my dad to care for his backyard bees while he was away living that snowbird lifestyle. Jay had no real fear of the bees, and I think I remember he was a little too willing to go poking around a hive to check things out without so much as a veil or Beekeeper's hat! He was fascinated, and by the next spring he was given a full hive from a certain father in law for his birthday. He was hooked.
Honey bees which are cared for and encouraged to be their healthiest and most amazing selves, will make honey. If you are even a modestly good beekeeper, they are likely to make a lot more honey than any individual could ever possibly consume. And so it was with Jay's bees also.
To be perfectly candid, I tried fairly hard to convince him not to play with bees. I tried to let him know the less exciting parts of the honey process, the heavy manual labour, the stinging, the very hot extraction process... but he loved it. He was also very good at it, and after one season he needed to sell some honey. I am nothing if not a good partner and I do have sales experience so I started trying to see if friends, family, or co-workers wanted any of our honey. They did for awhile, but in Alberta honey is everywhere and it is all equally as amazing all over the province. Its a tough industry to set yourself apart.
I love honey, I would love to sell honey, but my sales background knew that there is too much competition in the natural honey game for a 10 hive honey business.
Always looking for something to do, Jason starting experimenting. Over the winter holidays he took small amounts of his yummy liquid gold and mixed it with different ingredients. He started playing around with some new ideas and mixtures, and started getting me interested and curious. Some blends are classic like honey and cinnamon, but with some research and curiosity we found new and exciting things to try. This new product was so interesting and very delicious! We kept experimenting and looking in shops for new inspiration, or comparable competition and we soon saw that we had something with potential!
I needed a test market to see if actual people in the real world thought this was good. Since I was forming the idea of a home based business, and knowing that other parents in my kids' school had similar situations, I decided to throw a school fundraiser supporting all of the parents in the school with skills, and products to share. It was a great day for the school, but it was a shocking and exciting day for our new honey company. I got amazing feedback, sold a lot of honey, and found a parent friend who made my first business card and is now the supplier of my beautiful product labels.
I don't think I started out ever thinking that I could ever build a real business out of this crazy idea. I have sales experience and at one point I was one heck of a sales professional. Originally I grew up on an acreage where my Dad built a honey farm, or what is called an Apiary. I don't think I can help all the stuff I know about bee keeping and honey. At the time I was a stay at home mom of 2, and I was happy to have something new to try.
The industry of honey production was a large part of my job and life experience. I learned so much from my dad, through discussions and lessons and onsite at the bee yard. I was exposed to hard manual work, and most aspects of the production line. I also had my first experiences in farmer's markets and selling from booths. Because of this I knew which areas of the industry I was able to figure out what was possible for our family in Edmonton.
I'm sure I never truly appreciated or understood how mind blowing this food is, as well as the creatures who produce it. The more I learn and experience honey in all forms I am amazed once again. Honey will not easily accept many other substances to remain mixed within it. From oils to solid particles, if not handled properly honey will soon expel the unwanted substance and it will separate. We have selected our ingredients based on how they interact with the honey, and the of course the resulting flavour. We get frequent suggestions for some crazy flavours to try, but the fact is that honey is picky and our best success and our trusted products are the ones that infuse beautifully with out any extra processing. We will continue to search for more flavours, but we have quite a variety so far.
I am so proud and grateful for how this business has slowly and organically grown. 2020 was going to be a huge year with a number of large markets every month, and bigger events than we had ever done. All of that was stopped with the pandemic and we took some time to figure out where we were going after that.
We are growing our online presence as much as possible. I am always looking for feedback and suggestions. Customer experience and service is our top priority and I love that I now get to do this as a serious business.
Thank you for reading this far. I hope you give our product a try
All my love