I Make Sh 400k Monthly From Selling Honey
Joreen Kinyua is the entrepreneur behind Joreen honey, a company that produces organic honey and provides training to farmers on beekeeping.
The company was started in 2019, inspired by Joreen’s appetite for good quality honey. Joreen and her family are big honey consumers, but they could not secure high-quality honey from their vendors. At times, they would end up disposing of all the honey bought as they were health conscious, losing money in the process. She saw a gap in this sector, inspiring her to create a solution by stepping into the business.
Before starting the business, she enrolled at the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) and studied beekeeping and how to process honey. She later started the company using her college savings which amounted to Sh150,000. The company started operations in March 2020. The opening of the company coincided with the arrival of covid 19 pandemic, which pushed the demand for honey higher, given that honey is a key ingredient in preparing ‘dawa’ –a drink that is usually made of ginger, garlic, and lemon, and usually used to treat flu.
The company has since grown, creating employment to 10 individuals who assist in the aggregation sourcing, production, packaging, labeling, and distribution of the honey. The 24-year-old makes profits of up to Sh 400,000 in a good month. She sells her products in both wholesale and retail. For bulk orders, a kilo costs Sh350 with a minimum quantity order of 1 ton, while for retail, 500g costs Sh350.
Read: I make up to Sh 50,000 a week from selling cabbage
Her key sources for the raw honey are Baringo, West Pokot, Nanyuki, Laikipia, Meru, Embu, and sometimes Tanzania and Uganda.
Her business is, however, not only full of merry, but a lot of frustrations pull her back. Joreen explains that the biggest challenge she encounters is during aggregation since most of the honey she receives from farmers is usually degraded.
“The demand for honey surpasses the supply, so many try to increase capacity by adulteration. There is also the fact that honey is seasonal; besides, aggregation is expensive – logistically, you tend to use a lot of resources to aggregate a small amount of honey, leading to inconsistent pricing and sometimes very small profit margins,” she explains.
To ensure she sells high-quality honey, Joreen tests all the honey bought to confirm it’s pure. The chemical tested on pure honey retains its brown color, but if adulterated, the chemical turns orange. Providing high-quality products has seen her customer base expand into folds. In addition, her company has been approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards to sell and distribute its products all over East Africa. She is currently eyeing the East African markets to expand her market beyond the traditional reach.
“We are looking forward to supplying the East African market by the end of next year as well as to increase our capacity to be able to export honey to the Middle East markets in the next two years,”
Her brand is currently on online shopping sites, including Jumia, Kilimall, Sendy, and Pessafy, as well as on her website, joreenbrands.com
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