They say all great things come from humble beginnings.
What could be more humble than bringing your first beehive home in the backseat of a 1965 Volkswagen Bug? The year was 1979 and the man bringing the beehive home to his wife and daughter was my Dad, Bob Mearns. He had a passion for beekeeping and a dream to produce the best quality honey possible. Over the next several decades, we have all worked together to fulfill this dream.
My Dad brought hives home to our tract home in Canyon Country, Ca and put them in the back yard. The bee’s flight path out of the hives and the yard was right behind my swing set. So as a kid I have memories of swinging back and the bees bouncing off of me. Needless to say, my friends never had a typical back yard experience at my home!
Those two hives became 4 and then 8 and then the neighbors started to complain! (This is something most backyard beekeepers experience!). It was time to find a home for his hives and so he did! About that time we started making honey and my Dad’s post retirement purpose became real! After much heartfelt deliberation, a name was created…Heavenly Honey Company. Before we knew it, we went from that 1 hive to 1500 hives!
Over time a few things have changed as they usually do. In 2008 we lost my Dad. I was working full time in a different industry along with my husband and knew I didn’t want to continue on that path long term. Pregnant with our daughter, the family business was pulling on my heart and my husband was looking to make a change as well. Little did he know what he was getting in to! (I tried to warn him!) Since beekeeping is a full time job, something that really is more of a lifestyle than a “job,” I knew that wasn’t for me/us. I had grown up keeping bees with my Dad, he never went out without me until I left for college. I was with him for nearly every all night bee moving expedition (it was nearly always some sort of adventure!), splitting the hives right along side him and pulling honey off and extracting it in the blazing heat of our Southern California summers. These bees and this business was an integral part of the fabric of my life. Endless experiences to tell tales of later! It was a hard but logical decision we made to sell our bees to a friend of the family who was also a third generation beekeeper. We love him like family and trusted him to take care of our bees. At the same time, we wanted to stay in the honey business. We moved the business from its original home base in Acton, Ca to Ojai, Ca and gave our label a facelift while expanding our wholesale honey business up and down the Southern Central Coast of California. We procure honey from a select group of beekeepers who maintain the same cultural practices we always did. They really appreciate how we treat their honey compared to what mass packers do to honey. We know all our beekeepers personally and know where nearly every drop of our honey is produced. We are not in the business of volume, we are in the business of quality. There is nothing quite like honey straight from the hive. We try to bring you just that! From the beekeeper our honey comes to us in barrels which we hand pour ONE AT A TIME! From the day we start gently warming the honey (making every effort to maintain it’s nutritional integrity and delicate flavor) to move it from the drum to pour it takes 7-10 days. This completely inefficient method results in the highest quality, best tasting, best looking honey you can buy.
In October of 2016 we opened our Honey Tasting Room in Downtown Ojai. From the moment my Dad passed I knew he would always be with me watching over me and this business of ours. I can’t help but notice moments through this journey when I know he was guiding our “ship” helping us to make the right decisions. One such moment was the first day I opened our Tasting Room for business. A bee followed me through the front door on my way in that first morning, she did a lap around the room and went back out the door. That was Dad, checking it out, letting me know he was there. I’m assuming he approves! The way our community, along with our visitors to the Ojai Valley have rallied around us, enthusiastically supporting us makes my heart feel full on a daily basis. I work hard to honor the memory of my Dad and if you come in to our tasting room you will feel it. Or tasting room is a special place. A place where people can learn about honey, taste honey and very importantly feel happy. Honey is happy, it will make you smile! Our honey really is quite heavenly. We look at honey a lot like fine wine. It is a direct reflection of the area from which it is produced, the weather, location and floral sources and harvesting all influence the honey’s individual character.
We invite you to visit us at our Honey Tasting Room during your next trip to Ojai as well as take a few moments to look through our website and learn more about our honey and the products we offer.
THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING HEAVENLY HONEY COMPANY. ONCE YOU TRY IT, WE THINK YOU’LL AGREE….IT TRULY IS A LITTLE BIT HEAVENLY!
-Barbara, Lynda, and Jeff