Young beekeepers launch new business

ST. LOUIS - To be, or not to be successful. That's the choice six north St. Louis teenagers are making in a program teaching them to be entrepreneurs. And so far, it's a honey of an idea.

At rise coffee shop in the grove customer Becky Obenhaus ordered honey to sweeten her coffee.

"Buzzworthy. It was great, it was great," she said.

Buzzworthy because the home-grown honey being sold at rise coffee might be the launching pad for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Less than three miles to the north the basement of the Northside Youth and Senior Service Center is the Sweet Sensations headquarters for honey, lip balm, body butter, and candles. Sweet Sensations is a program teaching teenagers to be entrepreneurs.

"They make the products themselves, they go out and they market and we have staff members who help them and encourage them," said Rusoun Belue.

Dejah Cox is one of six teens learning the honey business, helping tend eight bee hives with the help of an expert beekeeper who suggested the program.

"It makes me feel excited, empowered," said Cox.

Besides beekeeping, the teens learn real-life business skills: marketing, budgeting, and advertising.

"If you don't advertise more, people don't know about you and they can't support you if they don't know about you," said teen entrepreneur Niyah George.

Count Jesse Mueller as a supporter. The owner of Rise Coffee remembers the day 10 months ago when the teens convinced her to buy honey from Sweet Sensations.

"I was sort of taken aback by how confident they did that, and we immediately decided to start a partnership," said Mueller.

"And we would like for them to take these skills and become entrepreneurs later on in life, but even if not, they'll be successful business people and successful members of the community," said Belue.

You can order Sweet Sensations products online or by calling 314-531-4161.


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