Bob Forston has always had a curiosity of honeybees. He read and researched them and became fascinated with all things bees, so much so that he got two hives of his own.
He gradually increased that number, but that first year the Forston honey harvest was 13 pints. Friends and family quickly took those and begged for more. The Forstons soon gained a reputation as the “Honey Folks.”
Bob works very hard to maintain healthy and productive hives. “Bee keeping isn’t a hobby for the faint-hearted,” says Bob’s wife, Cheryl. “It requires a hefty investment of time and finances.”
Which made Cheryl think that maybe they shouldn’t be wasting the beeswax. She began to research how to clean the wax and use it for a multitude of products. “Honey and beeswax never go bad and have been used for centuries in medicinal and skin care products,” Cheryl tells us.
Though Bob and Cheryl are both retired, they are still as busy as… well, bees. “Our three sons often remind us we are supposed to be retired, but we know they enjoy seeing us working together and building something we hope they will continue.”
Cheryl’s creativity gets its groove from seeing a need and trying to fill it. Her very first beeswax product was the Lip Balm, followed by a Lotion Bar that is perfect for healing rough, dry hands. Then came Face Lotion, Hair Putty ( a wonderful conditioner), and Beard Balm. While friends and family were more than happy to receive and try the products, the Forstons wanted a business.
And aren’t we glad they did?
Because now they sell all those yummy products and more at events like Backroads Market, at farmer’s markets, and online.
For Cheryl, the best thing about running the business is that it keeps her and Bob together. “We were high school sweethearts and married very young. We spent our first year of marriage in Germany and learned to really depend on one another. Our marriage can be summed up by the old 60’s song ‘So Happy Together.’ Even after 48 years of marriage we enjoy spending time together!”
Is there a better reason for loving your business?
According to Cheryl, “One of the things we enjoy in our business is talking to people. We value relationships above sales. We will talk, laugh, and pray with you even if you never make a purchase from us.”
That personable approach doesn’t hurt sales, though. From aluminum-free All Natural Deodorant to Whipped Body Butter that even helps with eczema, customers keep coming back for more.
Bob never meets a stranger and Cheryl always enjoys building new relationships. And they love giving out free samples. So they’re looking forward to the Spring Market on May 11 & 12 because “it seems like a down home, family-friendly event that matches our lifestyle to a T.”
We love that.
Stop by Forston Farms’ booth when you come to Market, have a laugh and a chat, and grab some of their delectable skincare products. And who knows, maybe they’ll even have some fresh honey.
See you there!