Pittsburgh Honey

Specialty Food

Introduction

Pittsburgh Honey is a producer and supplier of pure and local honey and a variety of handcrafted honey and beeswax products including a line of skin and beauty products.

Located on Squirrel Hill’s Murray Avenue, the business is looking to purchase additional hives and equipment in order to expand their honey production to meet growing demand, make initial purchases from other Pittsburgh beekeepers to inaugurate the Pittsburgh Honey Cooperative, and to install additional storefront signage.

Pittsburgh Honey is looking to borrow between $9,500 and $10,000 at 12% interest over 3 years. Anyone at least 18 years old can invest.

 


Fast Facts

  • 12% interest rate for investors with additional investor perks

  • Profitable business producing and selling edible honey and honey-based body care products

  • Deeply knowledgeable founder, Alyssa Fine, former American Honey Queen

  • Project to increase honey production capacity

  • Up to $10,000 loan with a personal guaranty from the owner, Alyssa Fine

 


Investor Perks

Early Bird Perk The first 12 investors can stop in for a free, 2oz Honey Bear, freshly filled with only local honey.
Big Help Perk Investors of $1,000 or more are invited to suit up and join Alyssa for a hands-on tour of the family apiary in Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

 


The Project

Pittsburgh Honey intends to purchase approximately 50-60 “nucs” (the nucleus, or beginnings of a hive system) in order to double their honey production this season. Depending on availability, they may purchase more, noting that each nuc must go into either seasoned or newly prepared woodenwares, which include: hive boxes, internal frames and foundation, as well as ancillary items like queen excluders, covers, bottom boards, feeders and screens.

This increased production will allow Pittsburgh Honey to meet the increasing retail and wholesale demands for their pure and local honey, as well as seek out new markets — from the Wholeys kiosk at PPG Paints Arena and Pittsburgh International Airport, to fulfilling requests from Ohio-based Whole Foods Stores and other retailers — all while ensuring full shelves year-round for their local customers at their Squirrel Hill location.

Pittsburgh Honey also intends to strengthen their Pittsburgh Honey Cooperative, an Ultra Local initiative designed to collect, package, and distribute honey on behalf of hobby beekeepers throughout the Pittsburgh region. The Pittsburgh Honey Cooperative will allow customers to select honey based on its zip-code or even neighborhood of origin.

While Cooperative partners may choose to still sell some of their honey on their own, Pittsburgh Honey intends to purchase their remaining harvest, from initial extractions to smaller overages, for use in the Ultra Local program. Finally, where unique homogeneous varietals exist, Pittsburgh Honey can incorporate Cooperative product into sales to their wholesale distributors.

Finally, Pittsburgh Honey may upgrade their signage at their Squirrel Hill retail store by introducing a large, three-dimensional honeybee attached to a flexible, cantilevered mount that will waggle about just above their storefront.

 


Deal Summary

 

Issuer

Abeille Beaute LLC doing business as Pittsburgh Honey

Security Type

Unsecured Loan (fully amortizing)

Loan Purpose

Purchase honey bee hives and related materials to expand production, initial purchase of honey from hobby beekeepers

Offering Amount

$9,500 - $10,000

Interest Rate

12.0%

Payments

Monthly, Disbursed to Investors Quarterly

Maturity

36 months

Personal Guaranty

Yes, from Alyssa Fine, the owner

Security Interest

None

 



About Pittsburgh Honey

The story of Pittsburgh Honey started humbly on the Fine Family farmette in southwestern Pennsylvania over four decades ago…

Al Fine's interest in beekeeping began when he was just a young boy. One summer, a swarm of honey bees landed on a tree branch in the family's backyard. A local beekeeper came out to hive the swarm, and there it stayed for some weeks. Al was fascinated watching the bees come and go. As a teen, he took up beekeeping as a hobby, producing enough honey for his friends and family. However, the hobby took a turn for the worst when tracheal mites infiltrated his hives, destroying them.

Many years passed, and, in 1985, Al decided to turn his passion for beekeeping into his full-time occupation. He started back up with only a half dozen hives, slowly growing his numbers each year. These days, the family manages upwards of 200 colonies each summer and provides thousands of pounds of pure and local honey to customers all throughout the region.

Alyssa Fine began to experiment in her kitchen with small quantities of beeswax and honey, both supplied by her father's local beekeeping business. While that first batch of lip balm wasn't quite up to par, it inspired her to continue creating homemade cosmetics with natural ingredients.

A few years later, a recent college graduate fascinated by the beekeeping world, Alyssa received the honor of serving as 2011 Pennsylvania Honey Queen, sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association. During her reign, she traveled extensively throughout Pennsylvania educating the public about the importance of honey bees. In addition to her presentations, she sometimes drew on her background to give beeswax cosmetics demonstrations, much to the thrill of her audiences.

After returning home, Alyssa began to wonder if she could somehow marry her interests in natural cosmetics and beekeeping with her public speaking skills and business management degree. She wanted to provide top-quality natural cosmetics to people all across the country.

Alyssa uses the premium beeswax culled during the honey extraction (along with the honey itself!) to handcraft a line of natural cosmetics. You'll find everything from lotions and lip balms to salves and scrubs, with plenty of variety in between. A division of the apiary, Alyssa’s Abeille Beauté brand— from the French for "honey bee beauty,” is handcrafted right here in Pittsburgh, using only the premium beeswax and honey sourced locally from the family's apiary.

First sold under the eponymous family label at various farmers markets and from the apiary, itself, it slowly became clear that other so-called beekeepers and honey producers defined “pure and local” broadly, often selling mislabeled, adulterated products to keep up with market demands. Worse yet, these suppliers turned to the bulk honey market to keep their bottling tanks flowing, filling jars with product that originated in Asia and beyond—far, far from the Monongahela Valley and completely unworthy of the “local” moniker. In 2014, in an effort to set their hand-extracted 100% pure and local varietals apart from the posers, Alyssa created the “Pittsburgh Honey” brand which exclusively sells pure, local honey.  The brand is now synonymous with purity, and, through its honeycomb bridge logo, easily recognized as a truly local product.

Pittsburgh Honey is still available direct from the family apiary, as well as Alyssa's own retail outlet in nearby Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania—the first and only store of its kind in the region. Stop in, or order some today.

 


About The Team

Alyssa Fine, Owner

Alyssa grew up with a fascination for all things honey and beekeeping, which was pretty easy, considering that her father kept a few hives in their backyard. Eventually, he turned that hobby into a business, and as a teenager, Alyssa found that she could use the leftover beeswax to make her own lip balms, which she made for friends and family. After graduating from Penn State with a degree in Agribusiness Management, Alyssa took a gamble and competed for the title of 2011 Pennsylvania Honey Queen.

She spent the next year traveling the state teaching the public about the importance of honey bees and beekeeping. The following year, Alyssa was able to reach an audience on a much larger scale as she traveled throughout the entire country as the 2012 American Honey Queen, even making it as far as to visit the hives on the White House lawn. Once she retired the crown, she realized that being a restaurant manager wasn’t very fulfilling- she could use her skills to help grow the family business, instead. And so Abeille Beauté was born. Alyssa left her job and began to handcraft a variety of natural skincare products using the honey and beeswax harvested from her family’s hives. As she attended craft and vendor shows, customers would routinely ask for local honey, too. However, the name Abeille Beauté just didn’t translate very well to honey.

After a brainstorming session with her husband, Adam, they landed on Pittsburgh Honey, and it stuck! In August of 2017, a small storefront quietly opened up on Murray Avenue. She signed the lease, and in just two short weeks, Pittsburgh Honey opened its doors on September 1st, just in time to celebrate National Honey Month.

 


The Location

Pittsburgh Honey is located in Squirrel Hill on Murray Ave.  The family apiary, a separate business entity, is located in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, just 26 miles south of Pittsburgh.

 


Your Earnings Potential

If you choose to invest, you will make a one-time investment via ACH that will be transferred to a secure escrow account. Once the campaign successfully reaches its target, the funds will be distributed to Pittsburgh Honey.

For more information on the mechanics of Honeycomb’s crowd investing platform, please review our Education Materials.

Investment Amount

One-Time Fee

Potential Quarterly Repayments*

Potential Total Repayment*

$100

$2.85

$9.96

$119.57

$500

$14.25

$49.82

$597.85

$1,000

$21.76

$99.64

$1,195.72

$5,000

$21.76

$498.21

$5,978.58

*Individual payments may vary slightly based on rounding.  Potential repayments include principal and interest, they do not include the one-time fee which is assessed when you make your investment. (Note: Returns are not guaranteed and investors could lose some or all of their investment) These amounts are calculated as a fully amortizing loan: principal and interest are paid down starting with the first payment.

Your ongoing responsibilities from investing are very limited. Each year over the life of the loan you will receive a 1099-INT, this is a simple tax document similar to what you receive for most savings accounts.

When Pittsburgh Honey pays as agreed, you will receive quarterly payments directly into your bank account along with a short update from the team. In the event of a default, you will be asked to elect a representative to manage the collections process on your behalf.

 


How Honeycomb is Compensated

Honeycomb charges Pittsburgh Honey a 2.0% loan origination fee if this campaign is successfully funded. Our origination fee is reduced and our posting fee is waived for Pittsburgh Honey because they are a founding partner.

Additionally, to cover expenses associated with each investment, Honeycomb charges a 2.85% investment fee capped at $21.76 per investor.

 

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