Aaron Wehr of Wehrloom Honey talks about his experience starting and growing his business in Graham County, North Carolina.
We got into bees in 2010. I unwittingly bought my wife two hives for Christmas and two hives very quickly became ten, which became a hundred, and eventually, we had a business. Everything evolved pretty organically, so we started off keeping bees. It's pretty fun. We sold honey at the local Grand County Farm Market in the winter when the bees are sort of dormant and not much to do. My wife would make lotions for our small children she would send the lotion with them to preschool and the teachers would all send notes back saying, "Hey, where do I buy some that lotion?" We try to recycle lots of stuff we don't throw much away. And so when we had beeswax, we made candles. We make all this stuff with honey.
What's the next thing we can make with the honey and is logical if it came up? Well, we can make mead — I think it's the best decision we've made yet. So the future of Wehrloom Honey is we'll have a store and Karen's in Asheville, so we're looking at some real estate in the South Slope to have more retail space capacity. It's a place for people to try mead made for the first time. All production is going to stay here in Roseville, so we feel pretty strong about supporting rural communities. We planned to increase our employees here and bring on three or four more so that production stays here. We create jobs here, as well as in Asheville. We know Asheville, we know the community well, but then our next step is Atlanta. We want to see if we can prove it works in Asheville to use that proof in Atlanta and start moving to bigger cities — Atlanta, Portland, Austin, Chicago. We won't have mead in all of them.
Tri-County Community College has really been there for us more as a resource to bounce ideas off and get feedback and just sort of put us in connection with the people we need at that moment. Hi, I'm Aaron, the co-founder of Wehrloom Honey located in Rockville, North Carolina.