In this exclusive interview with Savannah Bee's Founder and Owner, Ted Dennard, we delve into his journey to develop this extraordinary brand. Savannah Bee is not just a honey company; it's a manifestation of love and passion for bees and their products. Born from a deep fascination with the world of bees, Ted Dennard's vision transcended conventional boundaries. Back in the late '90s, Savannah Bee embarked on a mission to elevate the honey market from the confines of a kitchen to a realm of sophistication. They broke the mold, packaging honey in wine bottles with upscale labeling, all while celebrating the wonder and magic of bees. Join us as we unveil the buzzworthy story of Savannah Bee, a brand that epitomizes authenticity and reverence for the little creatures that create liquid gold – honey.
Q: What inspired the creation of Savannah Bee?
My first interaction with bees was when I was a boy on my family’s land. My parents made a deal with an elderly beekeeper, Roy Hightower. He could put his bees on our land if he taught us about beekeeping. The moment he showed me how to pull a frame from the beehive, I held it against the sun and saw the multicolor honeys glistening like stained glass. I was hooked from that point on and continued working with bees through college. I joined the US Peace Corps in Jamaica and taught beekeeping there. Years later, I ended up using my backyard beehives to start a honey company. My mission was to help save the bees and introduce people to the world of honey along the way.
Q: What are Savannah Bee’s guiding principles when it comes to making new products and collections?
When we create new products, we like to make sure they are in alignment with our brand, future goals, and mission. We work with vendors that “get us” and our values. We also make sure that the product is related to bees and bee products (honey, royal jelly, beeswax, propolis, bee pollen).
Q: Savannah Bee has a commitment to sustainability & beekeeping – how are those values integrated into the brand’s products & practices?
Our mission has been to save the bees since the very beginning. We strive to do this in a variety of ways. Our Bee Cause Project is a non-profit I co-founded with Tami Enright in 2013 as a way to teach kids how to respect, love, and protect bees. Our Exuma Project in 2014 brought honeybees and trained beekeepers to the island of Exuma for the first time.
Of course, sustainability is a large part of protecting bees and our ecosystem. We recently began working with RCD Packaging Innovation, a sustainability advisory firm out of Colorado. The founder, Reyna, has been working with us to transition our plastic Hot Honey packaging to 100% Post Consumer Plastic by 2024. We have plans to expand this to all of our plastic packaging in the future. We have also designed boxes that do not require overpacking to cut down on material used and if we do overpack we use a paper rather than styrofoam or plastic.
Q: What are some unique items Savannah Bee offers that customer should look out for?
Our whipped honey is one of my favorites. It is made from crystallized honey that is whipped for up to 3 days to give it a smooth icing-like consistency. It comes in flavors like Lemon, Chocolate, Cinnamon, and Pumpkin Spice.
I also love our Hot Sauce and Hot Honey with Scotch Bonnet peppers. I fell in love with Scotch Bonnets while I was in the Peace Corp in Jamaica. I put it on everything.
Q: What products are customers currently gravitating towards?
With fall around the corner, our customers can’t get enough of our Pumpkin Spice Whipped Honey. This is our second year having it, and people love it. Hot Honey is another relatively new product that our customers are constantly repurchasing. Honeycomb has always remained our number one selling item and is extremely popular around the holidays.
We offer a selection of highly sought-after gift items. Our elegant flute bottles featuring Tupelo, sourwood, acacia, and orange blossom honeys are perfect for gifting. Additionally, our honey-themed book and lip balm kits are effortless choices for thoughtful presents.
Q: Looking ahead, what can retailers expect in 2024?
We are really focusing on our sustainability. We have been working with a packaging designer to come out with all PCR plastic bottles for our Hot Honey. We are coming out with a BBQ sauce very soon, which we are anticipating our customers loving. We are also going to be marketing our honey roasted coffee. It is a great seller in our stores.
Savannah Bee's Bee-autiful Products
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