The Birds and the Bees impress
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | November 30, 2017|
For the past seven months, the Burke family has watched their 15-year-old daughter Morgan turn their home into what has been described as Santa’s workshop.
“She has taken over the living room and the kitchen,” laughed Morgan’s mother Donna. “But it’s been amazing.”
Morgan, a junior from Haliburton Highlands Secondary School, is approaching a sustainable income thanks to her business “The Birds and the Bees” which develops various items from the by-products of honey bees. Her inventory is government approved.
The one-man operation is going to help fund her future university education. But Morgan is very much focused on the now, and her business has turned heads since it took off in April. Orders are coming in from several stores and restaurants in the county. A few come from Toronto. Most recently, she placed first in the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair’s Best Vendor and Best Customer Service categories in Toronto.
The fair is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian show in the world, according to its website. Morgan was also one of the youngest exhibitors in the fair’s history.
During the Haliburton Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary’s Snowflake Bazaar Nov. 18, Morgan said it took her about two months to prepare for the Toronto fair. More than 500 vendors participated in the event.
The hard work paid off not only with the hardware she earned, but the expert advice the fair’s CEO, Charlie Johnstone, is looking to give her as time goes on.
“He’ll be able to give me some contacts, general advice … I’m hoping he will lead me through everything,” she said. In addition to a Facebook page, Morgan is also putting the final touches on her new website, thebirdsandthebeesonline.ca.
“It’s been a huge journey,” she said. “I didn’t expect all of this to take off and to accomplish so much this winter.”
After suddenly falling in love with beekeeping earlier this year – and successfully applying for a business grant from the Kawartha Summer Company that helped kick-tart everything – Morgan can’t imagine what life would be like without her new business.
Donna said the support from the community has been outstanding. “The orders are coming in weekly,” she said.
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.