Who We Are
Welcome to our store! We're the Mullins family, and we're so glad you're shopping with us!
In about 2015, David started keeping bees as a hobby with his dad, Roger. They attended a beekeeping class together and started with one hive each. A couple years later, we had 80 pints of honey and David sold them all in a couple of days at the Grabill Country Fair in a friend's yard. That's when we knew other people were looking for quality honey too.
In 2018, we started Bee Great. We sold as a home-based vendor at local farmers markets. Then we licensed the business and rented the 4H kitchen in Columbia City, IN, where David was raised. Our plan was to sell local honey but do it online and hand deliver it to customer's doors, just like the old days when the milkman made home deliveries. We started the business as a plan towards retirement.
Then, David's position as a professor was eliminated at the local university in a downsizing move. At almost the same time, the COVID pandemic hit. Our loyal customers saved our fledgling business through the COVID shut down by placing online orders. We decided then to really make the business grow.
So, in 2021, we purchased the old orthodontist office at 107 McCoy Drive in Churubusco, IN, and remodeled it into the Bee Great Marketplace.
One side of the Marketplace is a beautiful boutique with one-of-a-kind honey bee themed décor, jewelry, and ever-changing premium honeys and beeswax skin care products. We make it our mission to always have something different in the marketplace. Every visit you'll find something new.
We've grown from our first 100 lbs of honey that we sold in 2018 to almost 5 tons of honey sales in 2021. We have about 60 hives and nucs in the spring and after bee sales we now overwinter about 20 hives each year. And although our bees produce a ton of honey each year, we source honey from local beekeepers too.
But, we are so much more than honey! We produce award winning honeys. Both our Indiana Whiskey Barrel Honey and our Rum Barrel Honey were juried into the Indiana Artisans stores in Carmel, IN, and at the French Lick Resort. David is an Indiana Artisan for these honeys, and Bee Great Rum Barrel Honey placed 2nd in the International Flavor Awards competition out of over 9,000 entries! We think of ourselves as craft honey producers, much like premium vintners, distillers, and brewers of craft wines, liquors, and beers. None of our honeys contain alcohol, but all of our craft honeys enjoy the flavor pallets of premium artisan crafted gourmet foods.
As a family, and a company, we value convenience. Too often, we found ourselves rushing to Walgreens at the last minute to find a quick gift for some occasion. So, we made the Bee Great Marketplace gift giving central! You can find unique gift bags and gift boxes of all types. You can also purchase one of our gift bags and fill it with items in the store and walk out ready to make any event special.
We still deliver within 15 miles of Churubusco, IN, right to your door. But, we also offer free shipping on orders of $55 or more in our online store. You can shop the Bee Great Marketplace in person and we'll ship your order for $12 anywhere in the U.S. Who wouldn't love a gift box of award winning coffee infused honey with locally roasted honey coffee beans? Or, a stocking stuffer of lip salves, a mini honey bear, and honey filled candy? Or, perhaps a barrel aged honey gift box of Indiana Whiskey Barrel Honey, Rum Barrel Honey, and Tequila Barrel Honey? Did we mention we're more than honey? How about a gift box of our artisan soaps? Or, a gift bag of candies, honey sticks, hand lotions, and foot balm? Add a piece of Mudlove honey bee themed jewelry, and you've got a gift in seconds that is sure to please, or your money back - guaranteed!
Yes, we've grown, but we still make everything in small batches by hand. (David and Gabi extracting honey in the garage before we became a business with a borrowed, hand-cranked honey extractor).
(The Bee Great Marketplace commercial kitchen with a 21 frame power extractor).
And, while David once made all the hives we used from the lumber cut from dead trees on his Dad's property, we are now a Dadant beekeeping supply dealer. We sell everything a beekeeper needs ranging from extractors, to feed, to beekeeping equipment, to bottles and hives.
Everyone still helps in our family. Tammy designs the pictures and the displays for our farmers markets and craft shows, and she manages all the honey bee themed products in our boutique. She even makes the arrangements by hand.
We've added two permanent part-time team members and occasionally more temporary folks who help out. We are a company that puts family before profit. We bring our products to you with the sole purpose of bringing a little more happiness to the world. We're not your average local honey seller any more. We've grown, and we strive to make every item we carry something that you, your family, and your friends will enjoy. All the while, we're helping save the honeybee! What could be better than that?
This is Who We Are:
*We only sell the highest quality products.
*We're not some mega corporation that exploits workers and the environment.
*We care about our family and yours.
*We care about community. That's why you can donate to Riley Children's Hospital at checkout or directly through our website with no purchase required. We donate every year too, and we support other local charitable causes like WJHS, the radio station at Columbia City High School where David was part of the inaugural class of DJ's.
Feel free to email us at info@BeeGreatLocal.com, or call David's cell at 260-229-8356. He'll be happy to answer any questions you have about our products and our business!
Honey Bee Removal: We do NOT remove honey bee swarms. Please go to www.neiba.info and scroll down to the swarm list. Call them and they'll put you in contact with a beekeeper who removes bees.
Bee Great today!