CHICAGO (CBS) — He’s creating a buzz in the food industry. His product and business model: a stress reliever for both buyers and sellers.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory takes us inside the proud minority-owned company that’s spreading its wings by O’Hare International Airport.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Colder And Blustery Sunday Night
You’ve heard of “Farm to Table.” At Heaven’s Honey, it’s “From Comb to Home.”
They collect local beekeepers’ surplus, and fill the public’s desire for raw, unfiltered honey.
“We’re in over 200 stores,” said founder Abdullah Motiwala. Mostly their products are sold at Jewel and Mariano’s groceries.
Customer Christina Fantozzi dollops Heaven’s Honey over all sorts of food, and not just for the taste.
“One of the first changes I started to see since using this honey was my allergies kind of – become less,” she said.
Good for the body and the bees.
Handlers must follow Motiwala’s rules.
“We make sure that they’re not using any pesticides or chemicals in their vegetation,” he said.
Motiwala explained how his Bensenville business model is mixing up the industry.READ MORE: Shedd Aquarium Asks Restaurants To Help Keep Plastic Out Of Great Lakes
“Instead of the farmer going to the farmers’ market, setting up a tent, putting up a table, and selling let’s say $200 worth of product that day or a little bit more, we’re purchasing thousands from them,” he said.
Buying in bulk means selling their product at a lower price per pound, but it also allows the beekeepers to focus on their honey-makers.
“Not having to worry about sales and just worry about upkeep,” Motiwala said.
“He knows that I’m in a small business that’s up and growing,” said Felten Farms beekeeper Abdullah Felten.
Commercial bee farmer Abdullah Felten actually declined an offer to sell to Heaven’s Honey, because he wants to focus on his own customer base at Felten Farms.
“It’s almost like a charitable act,” Felten said.
He was touched by Motiwala’s sweet gesture to help him expand.
“He’s linked me up to people that reach out to him. There’s a place in Willow Springs, Illinois, that they want beehives on their property,” he said.
A growing network and a growing company.
Next up: adding to the popular line of naturally-infused flavors, and finding a bigger workspace.MORE NEWS: Outbound Kennedy Expressway Ramp To Montrose Avenue Reopens Monday
Twenty beekeepers and counting work with Heaven’s Honey. They are based across Illinois and Wisconsin.