Close-up of honey in jar on white background,Moldova

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Summer Johnson is the owner of Zach and Zoe Sweet Bee Farm, which sells its products in New York’s famous Chelsea Market.

Johnson hadn’t planned on getting into the honey making business. It all began when her son Zach faced terrible seasonal allergies that would send him to the hospital. Finally, Johnsons’ mom friends told her to give him honey. Johnson and her husband had seven acres of land at their country home, so they dove right in, got some hives and started beekeeping. The parents began giving their son honey nightly, and before they knew it, his allergies went away – and never came back.

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The Johnsons’ now found themselves with a new (but fun) problem: they had too much honey. At first, they were giving it away to friends, but Johnson realized they could start a business with it. It would teach her children the spirit of entrepreneurship and give her more quality time with her family.

“I just kind of wanted to spend a lot of time with my kids and my husband,” says Johnson. “We try to keep our family tight.”

Zach and Zoe Sweet Bee Farm produces 21 flavors of honey. But Johnson says if you only have time to sample one, it has to be the hot honey, which is rich with several unique spices.

To Johnson, being a Black entrepreneur is incredibly meaningful. She says that everything we see around us, from food to culture, “A lot of the life of America is from us [the Black community].” Adding her talents to that has been a gift for Johnson – and a gift to honey lovers everywhere.

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