Re: Selling Honey
Mike, I am located in small town area. I made 500+ pounds from 8 productive colonies [not counting my nucs and splits]. I sold out early July. Here is a summary of how I worked.
I would not allow individual sales from the house. Just to disruptive for the dollars and time spent with each customer explaining how good our product was and why it is worth more than Walmart. So if an individual wanted to buy 10+ pounds at a time, then I would sell from the house, otherwise they would have to go to some of the retail establishments. I charged the same price to all. I charged $4.00 for 8 oz. honeybear, $5.00 for 12 0z. honeybear, and $6.00 for 16 oz skep.
My retail establishments were 2 health food stores, which purchased primarily 8 oz. bears at $4.00 and sold for $10.50. Both ran out and were begging for more;
A feed store, which only bought 16 oz. skeps for $6.00 and resold for $10.00. This feed store probably sold more than any others [except what we retailed ourselves] and was begging for more middle of July, and still calls asking when he can get more as he has dozens of customer calling for more. I only buy feed from this feed store now. I was in the store few weeks back when another customer of his asked him when he would have some more of that great honey. He referred him to me and I said that I can't control the weather or the nectar production;
And a peddler at our farmer's market. He is the only one who would take a chance buying a dozen [out of about 15 vendors]. He about doubled what I charged him and 2 days later he called wanting a dozen of each weight. Couple of weeks later he called back but I was sold out.
I put my phone number on our containers and have had 30 to 40 people call us wanting to buy cases and be put at the top of the list. There is no doubt I could easily sell several thousand pounds within a couple of months. However, my biggest salesman was the honey itself. My neighbor [the husband] bought about $50.00 worth when he found out I had local honey. He was griped at by his wife for paying so much for honey, that is until she tasted it and then she called me and apologized stating she didn't know that honey could taste so good.
I will only put my name on a superior product. I don't heat at all. Raw honey has a much richer flavor and any heating decreases this rich natural flavor, the hotter the easier/quicker to strain, but more damage to the product. Good honey takes time to strain.
PS I had another health food store that had ordered local East Texas Honey from her supplier. All was dark as syrup and strong as molasses. My wife was in the store later and she had only sold a few jars and most of that they tried to return. She later wanted to purchase mine as word had gotten around how much better mine was, but I was sold out. Several other feed stores refused to sell my honey as they had been burned by 'local honey' that was dark and sorry tasting. My feed store even tried this source when I couldn't supply his needs. He tried a jar and told the local beek to come and pick it up because he was to embarrased to sell that stuff from his store.
"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776