Teen Entrepreneurs Find Sweet Success In Honey Business

Orlando Sentinel

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the Florida teens who are running a successful honey bee business. The team of about 20 has averaged about $1,000 in sales each week and routinely sell out.


At the first Parramore Farmer’s Market, Christopher Thornton, 17, couldn’t believe how many customers were buying jars of honey sold under a business he helped create.

By day’s end, Black Bee Honey, run by teenagers at the city’s Parramore Kidz Zone, had sold out of all four varieties of its sweet stuff and banked more than $2,000.

“(At first) I didn’t think honey would sell,” said Thornton, a junior at Oak Ridge High School.
But the more he thought about it, he realized it would sell because “there’s no Publix, there’s no Wal-Mart, there’s no fresh food” in the neighborhood.

In the first seven weeks of the Parramore market outside Orlando City Stadium, $13 jars of Black Bee Honey have proven to be the best-selling product.

After their first windfall, the team of about 20 has averaged about $1,000 in sales each week and routinely sell out. The money is used to cover expenses, pay the teens minimum wage and support the Parramore Kidz Zone, a program run by the city to help youths in the low-income neighborhood.

Growing up in Parramore, Orlando’s highest poverty neighborhood, the children knew the need for healthy natural foods. Now as teens, they’re working to provide a nutritious replacement for sugars and artificial sweeteners in the community that has been labeled a “food desert.”

“Right now in our community, all that sells is fast food,” said Jordan Jones, a junior at Jones High School. “We wanted to sell food that’s natural and healthy.”

And they’re quick to rattle off the health benefits of each variety: Palmetto blend helps prevent prostate cancer, gallberry kills off bacteria, orange blossom reduces risk of chronic illness and wildflower wards off allergies.

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