October is over! The 2021 Florida Gateway Fair is behind us (for the third DECADE in a row - scroll below for some throw backs), but at the farm we are still busy little bees.
After the drought-laden summer in North Dakota, our favorite bugs are all back to Florida and it's always a comforting site to see them buzzing around the shop. The sensory reminders - their soft buzz, their constant productive movement, the smell of a bee hive or two on the wind... it's a shift for us two-legged Thomases too.
When the bees come home, it signals an uptick in to-do's. Some of it is bee-related: the almost constant hum of machinery, the extra bodies milling around, the additional effort to shoo the bees out of the bottling room any time a door is opened (it's like they can smell the honey or something?)
But some of it is strictly business. Several of our favorite retail accounts open back up after the dead of the summer, the fair *happens*, and the change in weather prompts lots of HOT coffee (sorry for the sacrilege, iced coffee lovers), hot tea, honey-central desserts, and Grandma's cough medicine (read: a very strong Hot Toddy). And that means, alongside the actual bees - we get pretty busy.
And while the office is literally AND figuratively buzzing, the rest of life picks up too. Everything happens fast; but this year, there are a few things we (I) need to say an extra special thank you for:
On the five year mark of offering seasonal cinnamon creamed honey to the public instead of just as personal gifts from us, we celebrate the rebrand of the Kae's line. And we had a phenomenal response to the line at the fair. Seriously, we had the best turnout that Grandpa can remember and he just can't believe how much people are loving this line of blends - his words, not mine, that elicit nothing short of cartwheels for this dreamer.
I also have an actual dream team at the office. They took every challenge in stride over the last two weeks, and they continue to offer laughs along the way. The atmosphere at the office is one that you want to come to on the worst days, and they grow in their expertise daily in spite of most of them having a long-term involvement in the business.
Finally, our family lives our lives among one another. We drive each other batty (lookin at you, Rocky), but we show up for one another over and over. Big and small events, heartaches, illness, emergencies... we show up. We work to overcome fractures that inevitably happen in any group of personalities, and we celebrate for one another deeply. We know and love one another.
We are surrounded by good things. Out here at the farm, we're acutely aware of them - even when it feels hard to keep up with what day it is. And I, most especially, am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this business that makes the world a sweeter place. And that brings me full circle... to gratitude for the customers who see this company as more than a local honey pot, who love our family, and who loyally support our dreams. Thank you.