Straight out of Manchester, Just Bee creates and sells its very own high-quality honey that’s packed with vitamins.
Joe and his family have been in the beekeeping world for three generations. Inspired by this history, they launched Just Bees in 2014 with the idea of offering healthy and ethical honey products for people to enjoy.
To get products on the shelf, they got in touch with the GC Business Growth Hub’s Access to Finance team who helped the business to develop and refine an investor pitch deck. Following a referral to GC Angels, the business was also able secure investment of £250,000 to launch a fruity water honey drink, and start selling in Boots, Booths, and Waitrose.
The drink quickly become popular with retailers as part of a meal deal. But when the pandemic saw lockdown kick in, Just Bee had to pause all drink production. They were left with the question: what’s next for our business?
Luckily for Just Bee, they had a few ideas up their sleeve. When discussing product ideas with the GM Business Growth Hub in 2019, they received positive feedback from a group of customers on a new vitamin honey. They trialled a small a launch of the honey in 2020 and the team was blown away by customer feedback. Just Bee knew this was their ticket to success.
Thinking on their feet, the team decided to pivot their production to start making the new vitamin honey. However, they needed cash to get the right equipment and assets in place. Through our support, we helped them get the right facilities and processes in place to ramp up production and add in new digital technology to take the business forward.
Just over a year on, and the business is now four times bigger than it was, with the vitamin honey sold through the company’s website, as well as Amazon.
The switch to honey has also seen the company take on five new full-time employees. With demand continuing to grow, Joe is now looking to move into new larger premises. There’s no doubt that the businesses’ initial funding and early success prepared them for long-term success, with Just Bee ready to sell their nutritious honey for years to come.
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