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DULUTH - When you think honey, you don't immediately think Minnesota.
But one Northland family has managed to buck that trend, turning a
hobby into a sweet success.
Zach Walters has found his fair share of success as a boxer and promoter. But it's his family business that he's most proud of.
one of my boxing matches I said dad I've been eating a lot of honey, I
like honey on my fight diets... what do you say we keep some bees?,"
said Zach Walters, of Miel “A Taste of Duluth”.
The Walters family
moved to Duluth after stops in California and Madagascar where they
helped with missionaries. It's there where interest in the insect grew.
was always interested in insects. I always had a big insect collection
from overseas, so honeybees that's just another insect," said Mark
Walters, the family beekeeper.
The honey business, called Miel “A Taste of Duluth” started out as a hobby, but now the whole family is involved.
said, “We just get together and talk about the day as we work, work and
talk. I guess we're just about as busy as these bees."
Zach's mother makes lip balms and candles while him and his father mark work with their 30 hives.
started bottling it up and selling it here and there and people loved
it. Oh my goodness where'd you get this honey? It's the best stuff
ever," said Walters.
The demand for honey is rising, seen as a healthier alternative to sugar, not to mention it's locally grown.
Mark said, "People are tired of buying a box of this, a can of that and they don't know where in the world it comes from."
The Walters have mainly sold their honey at farmer's markets but this summer, they're looking for more.
think we have about 14 vendors, three of which are extremely interested
in letting our honey in their stores. So you'll start seeing Miel on
the shelves, that's for sure," said Zach.
Honey production in the
U.S. fell 16 percent over the past year, but the Walters family says
they didn't suffer. Their 14 hives produced around 1,500 pounds of