Busy bees at a Mid Wales honey company have clinched their biggest order to date to supply 340 Sainsbury’s stores across the UK with three of its high quality products.
Raw Organic Acacia Honey, Raw Organic Multiflower Honey and Cut-comb in Acacia Honey from Hilltop Honey, based at Caersws, near Newtown will be launched in Sainsbury’s stores on June 19. The Cut-comb in Acacia Honey, which comes in a 350 gram jar, and the other two products, supplied in 370 gram bottles, retail for £6 each.
Managing director Scott Davies says the order has great potential and is positive news for the company, which aims to create three new jobs within the next quarter, taking the workforce to 12.
After tripling turnover last year, Hilltop Honey is on course for 200 per cent growth this year, which is forcing the company to look for larger premises and more honey suppliers across the UK and Europe.
“The order from Sainsbury’s is for top quality organic European honey products,” he said. “It’s impossible to source organic honey in the UK because the bees must be kept on 28,000 acres of organic land.
“Our organic honey suppliers are hand-picked and their honey is rigorously tested to ensure that it is organic. You can definitely taste the difference with organic honey, which is in great demand from supermarkets because customers who are going back to basics with the food they consuming.
“They want good, natural products and want to eat honey in its rawest form. There is huge demand for organic honey, comb honey and bee pollen, which is very nutritious. We are constantly looking for new suppliers, who are able to satisfy our strict quality control tests and guarantee a reliable supply.”
Beekeeper Scott, 28, started the business in his parents’ kitchen with a £5,000 overdraft in 2011. Nearly five years later, he is employing nine full time staff and supplies honey, comb honey and bee pollen to major High Street and online customers.
“Five years ago, I walked into Newtown to sell my first four jars of honey and now I’m supplying thousands of jars to customers across the UK and even as far away as New York,” said Scott. “It’s incredible.
“The new order from Sainsbury’s is great for the company and there are now very few places in the UK where customers are unable to buy our Hilltop Honey. My mission is to become the number one honey company in the UK, which is going to take a lot of work but it can definitely happen.”
Last month, the company’s Raw Welsh Wildflower Honey was used to create special chocolate truffles for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.
However, it was not the first time that Welsh honey form Hilltop Honey – www.hilltop-honey.com – has tantalised the tastebuds of VIPs. In 2014, the company supplied honey for world leaders at the NATO Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.
Scott personally presented pots of Welsh honey to Prime Minister David Cameron, American President Barack Obama and French president, Francois Hollande at a reception for Welsh food producers during the summit.