Little Red’s Honey Farm with Joy Gilberts

How did you get started in the honey business? My parents have been producing honey for 30 years. They have 1200 hives and manage their own commercial extraction operation. I got my marketing degree from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma and then decided I wanted to start my own business. I have 26 hives of my own plus 150 trees with over 30 different varieties of apples.

Tell us about some of the unique products you make from your honey. I sell creamed honey, honey mustard, honey combs, and I even make my own lip balm made with raw honey, beeswax, organic coconut oil, organic sweet almond oil, raw Shea butter, vitamin E oil, and 100% pure essential lavender or peppermint oil.

What do you like most about owning your own business? Coming to market is a tradition in our family. My parents have been going to the Madison Farmers’ Market for 15 years. I enjoy meeting people and helping my regular customers. It’s nice to set my own hours and have total control over the quality of my products. I also do the Rockford Farmers’ Market, and my sister goes to Beloit.

What do people do with the bee pollen that you’re selling? Mostly people use it as a dietary supplement to add protein, vitamins and amino acids to their diets by adding it to smoothies, cereal, etc. It provides an energy boost and increased metabolism.

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