Carmel Honey Company grew out of a passion for bees and good grades. Jake Reisdorf’s fifth-grade report on honey-bee colony collapse disorder developed into a passion for beekeeping, and “I’ve been selling honey and keeping bees ever since,” he says.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about one-third of the human diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants. The honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of this pollination. “Without them, we would say goodbye to numerous fruits and vegetables,” Reisdorf explains. ​

The young entrepreneur developed Carmel Honey Company with three areas of service: first, it places beehives in residential and commercial locations, where local honey-bee advocates can assist in encouraging the bee population. Raw honey and honeycomb from the hives are sold online to customers throughout the country, and to wholesale customers in northern California. Finally, Reisdorf himself shares his expertise by providing honeybee education to kids and adults.

My Successes: 

Reisdorf plans to grow his business to support a non-profit pollination center to provide information not just about honey bees, but also about other pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds and bats.

How SCORE Helped: 

Reisdorf met SCORE mentor Larry Horan, who helped blend his newfound knowledge with a solid business approach. “He’s someone who we can lean on, who we can call for advice and have a perspective from outside the business,” Reisdorf said at age 13. “I knew I needed help with the financial part of the business.”

“People in California in particular in this area are very attuned to buying local, organic and fresh natural products. And [Carmel Honey] had all of that,” Horan says.