With its newly-established presence in the East African country, Bees with Stories is marking its retail debut on the continent. This is the result of a collaboration with Nairobi Street Kitchen (NSK) to introduce a new range of bee products to the Kenyan market.
Since its UK launch in 2019, the company has been exploring other bee products to add to its honey collection from Ethiopia, Madagascar and Tanzania. When NSK approached us for a collaboration in late 2020, it was the perfect opportunity to add to our product line. However, instead of bringing our existing products into Kenya, we decided to explore the Kenyan beekeeping landscape and create products sourced from Kenyan beekeepers. This led to a collaboration with beekeepers from Makueni County for our retail honey and Baringo County for our beeswax candles, with both sourcing led by Kenyan women. In keeping with our social enterprise motto, we endeavor to pay our beekeepers premium prices. Other suppliers include another women-led small enterprise engaged in the making of concrete pots; we turned the latter into containers for our beeswax candles. For our label, we favored a hyacinth paper, fully biodegradable to remain aligned with our holistic approach.
Our work in Kenya started during the pandemic. The unpredictability of COVID-19 guidelines, including curfews, added a new dimension to the usual stress of launching a new product. But we did it! We are happy to report that sales started in August 2021 at the Nairobi Street Kiosk.
We, at Bees with Stories, are obsessed with our bees and their potential for the communities tending to them. We are continuously on the lookout for more opportunities to grow our business. Our collaboration with NSK is the first of many; a few more are already brewing….