Bjorn's Colorado Honey
Hello Modern Epicureans! Welcome to another local food company introduction on our blog. We are beyond excited to share our most recent interview with what we believe to be one of the coolest companies in Northern Colorado, Bjorn's Colorado Honey. Based out of Boulder, Colorado this family operated company has been selling traditional Swedish style local honey and honey skincare products for several years and is well known in the Colorado farmers' market community.
As many of you may know, honey has been used for thousands of years across cultures to treat ailments because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Not only that, but it is widely believed that local honey can be powerful in treating seasonal allergies. Plain and simple, bees and their honey are vital to the health of our environment.
We urge you all to do as much research as you can on the importance of bees to our environment and the people that work very hard to protect them, like the owners of Bjorn's Colorado Honey, because the decline in the bee population is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. At the end of this interview we will link to Bjorn's Colorado Honey blog, so you can learn more about bees and their honey.
Make sure you check them out and give them some love by following them on Instagram @bjorns_colorado_honey, so you can stay up to date on their new products and where to find them.
Now, let's get to know Bjorn's Colorado Honey a little bit better!
Pontus, the beekeeper at Bjorn's Colorado Honey, is a third generation beekeeper from Sweden and has been working with bees his entire life. The name of the company came from his grandfather, named Bjorn. To this day, his grandfather is still beekeeping in Sweden at 87-years-old. Every year he comes out to visit Pontus and Lara and their baby in Boulder.
Lara is Pontus' wife and helps run their honey business. The couple bootstrapped this company back in May 2013 and started selling their honey at the Louiseville Farmers' Market that June. To make it all happen, Lara worked full-time at a tech company in Gunbarrel, Colorado, while Pontus got the operation up and running and now they both work full-time on the business with one other full-time employee and several part-time employees to help them work the farmers' markets every summer.
Farmers' markets are very near and dear to Pontus' heart because he loves educating his customers about his honey. In fact, we have come across several people in the community that have told us about Pontus' passion for teaching and what he does and each and every one have a great admiration for him and Lara. During this interview that passion was apparent to me, and I left the conversation with more knowledge than I ever would have expected.
"I love to sell at farmers' markets because of the personal contact with customers and I can really dive in and give the customers the products that fits them best. People always come up and ask which one is your best honey, and I turn around and ask, how do you use it? That way I can recommend the honey that will fit their need the most. And that's why I love it. The customers we get care about being educated, they care about knowing what they are buying, and seeing a face behind the brand. I enjoy when people want to learn about my product."
The First Few Years
As with most local food companies starting up, the first years can either make you or break you. According to Pontus, the first couple of years were quite difficult because they did not have industrial equipment (also no connections to find it easily) and the production of honey is very time consuming and physically demanding. Even still, Pontus and Lara managed to completely bootstrap the business due to their dedication to resourcefulness and hard work in the beginning and it paid off. They went from selling at only one farmers' market their first year to selling at over 20 farmers' markets per week in Colorado in 2019.
Tips for Wife/Husband Business Owners
We had a very candid conversation about this topic, indeed! They say, "don't do it." Ha! Of course, they were joking. They run a business very successfully together and love doing it, but had some great tips for those of you wanting to start a business with your spouse. As we discussed in our last interview with Just Plain 'Ola, many companies in this industry are run by married couples, so we find this to be an interesting and important topic to cover.
Lara and Pontus suggest keeping tasks separate. Between the two of them they have very different roles in the company and that works well for them. One of my personal favorite notes from this interview is that they like to take long walks together as a family to talk big picture and goals, but they say it can be difficult not to mix marriage with business, so try your best to keep those separate and communicate effectively. Lara noted that it works well between the two of them because she is the detail-oriented one and Pontus is the big picture guy, so it is an advantage that they are different in those ways and it helps them keep things separate.
Bjorn's Colorado Honey has amazing products. They offer raw, unfiltered Colorado honey in the form of edible honey and skincare, as well as CBD products. The CBD line is made with organic certified hemp that is grown in Sterling, Colorado by a good friend of Pontus. His hemp farm is the only USDA organic certified hemp farm in the nation. Pretty cool!
Note: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in cannabis and has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Unlike THC it does not intoxicate you or make you "high".
One of the products that we want to make sure we get the word out on is one that is closest to Pontus' heart and that is his Propolis Honey. He describes propolis as a separate resin that bees make from plants and tree sap and it is extremely helpful for allergies, colds, flus, and low immune system. It is very rare that you will see propolis honey made in America, so it is a special treat if you are able to find it. Pontus makes it a point to educate all of his customers about this product because it can truly make your life better and has helped many people. Make sure to check it out on their online store.
That's it for this special introduction to Bjorn's Colorado Honey. We will surely be featuring them again in our blog and on our online store. Don't forget to check out their blog to get more specific information about Colorado honey and all of the amazing benefits!
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