Thanks to Cal Coastal SBDC for sharing Jake’s story!
Carmel Honey Company (CHC) grew out of a passion for bees and earning good grades. As a 5th grade student at Carmel River Elementary, Jake was given a real-world homework assignment to research the education and daily duties of a website designer. During his research, Jake designed a website about honey bees and shared his site and knowledge with his classmates. The students were so impressed, they thought Jake was in a business and asked to purchase honey. His research and classmate interest stimulated Jake to purchase honey bees, continue his extensive research/study and ultimately, start a real for-profit business with his parents. Today, Jake personally services over 100 bee hives along with maintaining more than 100 wholesale accounts which are primarily specialty stores and professional restaurant chefs. On weekends and holidays, Jake and his family (mom, dad and sister) routinely sell at local events throughout Monterey County. CHC honey is now branded and widely recognized as a premium honey brand being all natural, raw, and unfiltered. CHC’s unique selling proposition is, “honey straight from the hive”.
“SBDC has been our constant source for unbiased business expertise, coaching/encouragement, accountability and stretch goal-setting,” says Jake. “SBDC has assisted in forging CHC into a more professionally led company with an aggressive and lofty business vision. SBDC has helped us analyze our business to maximize our growth and profitability. We value our mentor’s input, wisdom and organization that keeps us on a winning track.”
CHC enjoys ever-increasing brand recognition as a provider of authentic, highest quality honey and honeycomb. Jake’s genuine enthusiasm, thirst for knowledge and exceptional ability to connect with both kids and adults is the “secret sauce” of CHCs growth. Jake spoke to crowds of over 500 at UC Davis Bee Symposium and was featured in California Bountiful Magazine and Edible Monterey Bay Magazine. In 2016, Jake won the annual CSU Monterey Bay “Startup Challenge” with a $10,000 prize. Subsequently, Jake won “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” sponsored by SCORE National and was recently recognized by California Assemblyman Mark Stone’s office as Small Business of the Year for California Small Business Day 2018.
CHC is a small family-owned business with unlimited growth potential. When Jake isn’t attending school, he is attending conferences with pollination beekeepers and university scientists to learn more about honey bees. Locally, Jake is frequently requested to address local clubs and schools to share his knowledge of hive maintenance on both residential and commercial properties resulting in the increase in honey bee populations in Monterey County.