Sweet Sensation

Neighborhood: The Greater Ville
Project Location: Ville Community
Project Sponsor: Northside Youth and Senior Service Center, Inc.Sustainability
Plan Category: Prosperity, Opportunity & Empowerment

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The goal of Sweet Sensations was to teach north side teens about entrepreneurship and small business development through the design and operation of a beekeeping business. With the guidance from local business professionals, teen interns designed the business from the ground floor up, developed product lines, wrote business and marketing plans, and built a financial projections model.  Products were also produced for sale by the teens under the HoneyMaster brand including honey and beeswax candles, soaps, lotions, gels and lip balm.

Teens employed by Sweet Sensation were paid an hourly wage and had the opportunity to participate in a matched savings program to pay for future higher educational costs. Beekeeping and Sweet Sensations helped interns gain a greater understanding of budgeting, entrepreneurship, community engagement, organization, marketing and networking.

Business Timeline:

July 2013- Teens planned and hosted weekly business tours; partner with local church to sell honey during weekly barbeque

August 2013-Teens created a marketing video for the project; hosted customer appreciation party; sold Honey Master products at Old Farmers Market.

September 2013- Extended program to 11 members; began designing second marketing video; hosted first educational community meeting

Beekeeping Timeline:

July-September- Honey harvesting; mite control; remove supers; Fall re-queening

October-December- Winterize hives; check on newly installed queens; combine weak hives with stronger ones

January-March- Making wax products; building frames; repair; paint; clean equipment. Order equipment, supplies, queens and bees for the next season. Check that bees have plenty of food and treat bees for mites and brood disease.

April-June-Replace older queens; install packages; make splits to increase numbers; swarm prevention; add supers; check for crowding

Related Resources: Honey Masters, Eastern Missouri Beekeeper’s Association