Bee Free Honee

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Plymouth, MN

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Located in Plymouth, Minnesota, Bee Free Honee produces vegan “honey” made from apples. They can currently be found in the MW region but will launch nationally soon.

Bee Free Honee is the brain-child of former Whole Foods Market Bakehouse Team Leader, Katie Sanchez (pictured left). Growing up in Mound, MN, her family had an apple orchard in their front yard and her father (coincidentally) was a bee keeper. As an adult, Katie worked on a restaurant line and then went to work at an all-natural bakehouse back in Minnesota. There she worked with vegan products and learned about the all-natural foods world. On more than one occasion she wished she could use honey in some of the vegan items. The vegan sweeteners were so strong they would often mask subtle flavors such as vanilla or hints of lemon.

One day in 1999, while trying to make a less sweet version of apple jelly and being a novice with jelly, Katie accidentally created something that was definitely not jelly. Not wanting to be wasteful, she ‘canned’ it only to discover in the morning, that what she had was honee! Years later when she heard about the decline of the bee population, she asked herself two questions, could she reproduce her honee and was there a market for it? She went back to the kitchen and after much trial and error she was able to say that she had a solid recipe. Four years later, she started to sell her product and this year she and her business partner, Melissa Elms (pictured right), will launch nationally at Whole Foods!