Vancouver Gift ExpoThis week will see us heading to the Vancouver Gift Expo.

With the down turn in the Alberta economy, our local retail and wholesale sales have drastically decreased. Add several factors that have pushed global honey prices 50% lower than precious years, and well you have a couple bad years of farming in a row. 

stella face picSo Sweet Pure Honey is headed to our first big wholesale buyers show in over 8 years. We will be focusing on adding value to our existing honey crop while, spotlighting our beeswax cosmetics and honey soaps.

Sweet Pure HoneyThe goal is to acquire new wholesale accounts in BC, while promoting direct sales through our online store. I am no stranger to seeking out new clients. Every wholesale account I have to date was acquired from hitting the road in our honey mobile and seeking out new clients. I did it once before, I can do it again.

Fall means harvest time is among us and many farmers will be pulling some serious man hours to get their crops off. Sheldon is wrapping up his bee duties at the farm and will get the bees ready to winter over the winter. He will fly out of Saskatoon, and meet me in Vancouver for the show. Last year my girlfriend Giselle came out and captured the season changing before our very eyes. Our farm is beautiful sight during fall, alive with golden color.

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The Hill kids are all back in school, woot woot! When you are a small business and you work from home, you sure notice extra bodies in your work space. It is hard to believe our children will soon all be in the same high school. To think this all began from the desire to provide for our young family. It is still our driving force, and keeps us grounded in our roots.

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Honey Cooking

I am excited to announce I will be making our famous Cinnamon and Cocoa Spreads out of The Hat's Olive Tap kitchen.

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Thank you so much for all your feed back on our new spreads. I say new, but it is actually an old classic for us. I brought the spreads back in an effort to boost our local and online sales. The feed back from clients has been encouraging you all LOVE it! I love hearing all the different stories how the cocoa spread is being eaten. A fan favorite seems  to be with french toast and strawberries, or drizzled on bananas. The cinnamon spread is now available online, and at my local markets. As I will be gone for one week, I am offering the coupon code Market25 for anyone of you who want to place an order online. Type Market25 in the message box, and I will take 25% off your entire order when I invoice you. This would be a great time to try our new Sweet Clover and Red Clover varietal honey harvested from our flow hives.

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Thank you so much for supporting our family bee farm.

Stella's Cooking

This week I made a simple honey garlic ginger pork peppered greens stir fry. As I transition away from store bought condiments, my sauces seem to get cleaner and simpler. A little honey goes a long way in creating your own stir fry sauce.

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I get asked about the conversion of honey to sugar at every market, here is a link to help you gauge.

Thank you for listening and you can follow our Vancouver experience on Instagram and Facebook.

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The summer is winding down, and the Hill household is preparing to head back to school. Sheldon is wrapping up honey harvest at the farm, and he tapped our flow hives for the last time this year.

FLOW HIVE HONEY

sweet clover harvested from flow hivesWe have now SPH varietal honey, Sweet Clover and Red Clover harvested from our flow hives. This delightful specialty honey is bursting with high sweet notes, and a distinguishable floral taste. Hand packed in glass jars, our new sweet clover and red clover honey, is sure to please our honey snobs.

I have been enjoying our clover honey drizzled on beet salad and fresh fruit granola bowls. Our new cinnamon and cocoa spread, is proving to be a hit, and will be available to buy on on our website soon! Just in time for warm cups of tea and hot morning porridge.

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I have also been mixing up some spicy pumpkin coffee cake inspired soap bars for my local markets. I will have our all our new products this week at Medalta Market Thursday 4:30-8:30 pm, and the Saturday Farmers Market 9-1 pm.

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I wanted to give a quick Sweet Pure Honey update and let everyone know where we are for Spring 2017.

All our Flow Hives have arrived, Sheldon is busy getting them assembled and preparing for our bees. You can follow him directly on his Instagram and Facebook account Smokey Beekeeper, ask him questions and let him know what you are curious about.  As he is busy working in the field it may take a few days to answer curious questions. For Flow Hive questions I encourage you to contact them directly, they have a great Q & A page and many videos to give you insight on the process of having honey on tap from your own beehive. Right now, there is a 25% off sale for Canadian customers, so if you are thinking about purchasing one, check it out.

We also get questions regarding skeptics and beekeepers who do not support the use of Flow Hive.  I encourage you to do your own research. I find this has the most logical debate, it is a personal choice for each individual to make. Flow Hive will allow us to bring our loyal clients what they are asking for. I listened to my clients and they all said yes we want to purchase isolated honey crops. Our first batch of specialty honey is our Red Clover White Honey.

The spring means the beginning of the Saturday Farmers Market at the Cypress Centre. May 20th we are celebrating 20 years, if you care about agriculture in your community I encourage you to come down and purchase directly from the farmers in your surrounding area. I will go hard at my local markets for May and June and am planning to head back to our farm to help Sheldon with the Flow Hives in July and August. I always post where I am so if you follow me on my social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram) you will be able to catch me when I am home. You can always order directly online and have your sweet treats arrive right to your home. We are currently at a 4-6 week delivery for orders placed online.

Finally a big THANK YOU for your continued support, the emails and messages sent to our family mean more than you know. To have people reach out and say I get it, I get what you are trying to do, means so much.  Our children are turning into teenagers, which has been an interesting transition, and the website is now generating much-appreciated income to prepare for our upcoming honey harvest and new flow hives. Thank you for supporting our family bee farm.

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We came home to our farm in Porcupine Plain, SK, this weekend to pack our SPH honey crop. Our trip home happened to coincide with FLOW HIVE contacting us to do a video tapping our Flow Hives.

Flow Hives Information      Sweet Pure Honey

Flow Hives      Stella Stehn

Tomorrow Checkered Owl is flying into Saskatoon, renting a car and driving out to our farm.  I am beyond excited about this incredible opportunity to capture us tapping the Flow Hives and our breath taking countryside.

What was a dream two years ago is reality today.  The original letters that came with our FLOW HIVE spoke of us being brought together by this idea, of experiencing a connection with life on earth. Preparing for this video on Monday, I am asking myself what was is that first peaked my interest about the new hives?

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From the moment I saw the crowd fundraiser I felt like we were pioneers on this new beekeeping adventure fueling innovation.

It seems like I and others loved the idea of reduced disturbance to the bees. Alongside a reduction in energy consumption for production and the whole concept behind ethical consumerism, made me fall in love with this start up company. I have embraced slow food and positive buying and I see our FLOW HIVES as a step in the right direction while meeting our consumers demand for Eco-friendly goods.

Our focus moving forward is to provide the highest quality whole food and green products that support our SPH healthy choices lifestyle brand.

Our conscious consumers have told us they want isolated specialty raw honey crops.  This year we purchased 20 more Flow Hives and placed them on sweet clover and red clover crops. This year we will have sweet clover and red clover specialty honey harvest from our own Flow Hives.

Sweet Pure Honey Beekeeper

We will have the honey available on our website and also at my local markets. A portion of our money harvested from Flow Hives will go directly to educating young school children about the importance of growing your own food, and how bees are not to be feared, rather celebrated.

We thank you for your support and value the connection with our followers. The feedback you provide, all the messages of love and support, stories of healing and handing up, bring me to tears. You motivate me to do more too! I am forever grateful for those of you who believe in me and my little dream!

 

stella sehn

Local entrepreneur Stella Sehn shares her sweet secret to the success of her small business Sweet Pure Honey.


Credit: Invest in Medicine Hat


Between packaging orders and raising her three kids, Stella Sehn, founder of Sweet Pure Honey, spoke with Invest Medicine Hat about reaching her market and a unique tool that is allowing her company to literally tap into the farm to table market.

  • From hive to market, Sehn fosters a connection with her customers
  • Medicine Hat’s sunny skies and affordable homes ideal combination for small business owners

Driving a car packed full of honey and three kids, Sehn made the eight-hour trek from her apiary in Porcupine Plain, Sask. to sell her products at her first Medicine Hat farmers market 10 years ago. She sold out of product on the first day and knew that she found the place where she could base her business.

“Hatters are very supportive of farmers and are keen to support local businesses,” said Sehn, whose business was recognized with the 2016 Chamber of Commerce Business Ethics Award.

Sehn’s company, Sweet Pure Honey, sells Raw Canada No. 1 honey, soaps, cosmetic and home products. The number one seller, Raw Canada No. 1 honey, can be found on the shelves of Nutters and the lip balm is a fan favourite.

Orders have been placed from as far away as Indonesia, however, Medicine Hat and Ontario are Sweet Pure Honey’s biggest markets. The key to reaching customers, outside of the local farmers’ markets, has been with email campaigns and establishing an online presence with a website and social media.

“Having a website and online store allows to me to sell my products between harvest and farmers market seasons,” said Sehn.

This past year, Sehn and her husband and apiarist, Sheldon Hill, began to tap into the trend of health conscious consumers who demand local products that are as natural as possible by using an innovative technology called Flow Hive. The technology extracts honey from the hive with little disturbance to the bees and pours it directly into jars.

“It’s a new line of specialty honey for us and I sold out of honey on my first day in Kelowna and also in Medicine Hat,” said Sehn.

Three years ago, Sehn decided to move to Medicine Hat and run the small business from her home. The apiary is closer to Saskatoon and Regina, but she chose Medicine Hat for the weather, affordability and the successful market for Sweet Pure Honey.

“Being a home owner is possible in Medicine Hat. On top of that, I live three blocks away from a post office, which makes easy to send orders to anywhere in Canada or the world,” said Sehn.

Indeed, the numbers back up Sehn’s comments. Medicine Hat was recognized as the most affordable city in Alberta to purchase a home and the city has an extended patio season with more sunshine hours than any city in Canada.

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Sweet Pure Honey mailing address  Box 483 Porcupine Plain SK S0E 1H0

Sweet Pure Honey telephone  (403) 594-4254

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