Ted Dennard founded Savannah Bee Company in 2002. since then, the company has done nothing but move forward in business and product development.
Dennard began selling his honey in 1999, keeping his bees on the roof of his house while he bottled the honey in the kitchen. As his business grew, Dennard needed more space, and expanded to Oatland Island Wildlife Refuge where he occupied a warehouse that once served as a classroom.
To cover his rent at Oatland Island, Dennard paid in honey.
As his brand began to grow, local stores became interested in carrying his product. Eventually, Dennard opened four retail stores in the Savannah area. Three years ago, Dennard opened the first Savannah Bee Company store on Broughton Street downtown. Business expanded, and Dennard opened up his Wilmington Island location. the River Street location opened soon after. the newest location is in Charleston, S.C.
Attached to the Wilmington Island showroom is a 40,000-foot warehouse where bottling takes place. also located at the Wilmington Island location are 14 hives from which Dennard harvests some of the honey he sells.
Hannah Fischer, a two-year Savannah Bee employee said demand for the company’s honey isn’t just local anymore.
“Our products are in literally tons of retail stores — Whole Foods, Neiman Marcus, new York Botanical Gardens,” she said.
the honey is not only harvested locally, said employee Bert Parrish, “We get honey from all over the world. California, Idaho, all over the Southeast, and even Italy.”
Aside from the standard use of honey as a natural sweetener, honey has other benefits most people are not aware of.
“Honey has every single vitamin except for Vitamin D, so it’s really good for your immune system and just your general body function,” Fischer said. “Tons and tons of amino acids and antioxidants that are good for your skin and organs.”
some honey-lovers eat honey with every meal. Fischer adds, “Honey has tons and tons of digestive enzymes.”
Parrish begins his day with honey: “It will give you an energy boost that will keep you at an even keel all day.” Parrish enjoys the energy boost honey provides without the crash afterwards that coffee sometimes causes.
Honey is great to bake with, and easily takes the place of sugar. Honey is also great for skin care.
“You can actually even put honey on your skin topically,” Fischer said. “I wash my face with honey. if you get a burn or a cut, put some honey on it.”
Honey can also help prevent scarring and wrinkles. Savannah Bee sells several skin care products, which they are proud to say are all natural.
Savannah Bee also does work for endangered species.
“We send our beeswax to Jekyll Island to help the sea turtles,” Fischer said. the wax is used to fill in the cracks and holes that sea turtles get from being hit by boats. one line of honey for sale in the Savannah Bee’s showrooms allocates a portion of every sale to be donated to the sea turtles on Jekyll.
Dennard created a brand that brings significant attention to Savannah by developing a reliable product line.