Slide Ridge Honey, a food manufacturer in Mendon Utah is being selected by the Small Business Development Center in Logan as a nominee for the 2013 business awards, which are presented at the Utah State Capital each year.
Slide Ridge Honey is a family business, which is owned and operated by Martin James, his parents and siblings. The business includes beekeeping and pollination of almonds in California, onions in Southern Idaho and producing honey in Northern Utah. “We believe in using all natural ingredients and produce the highest quality products possible,” says James. The company has a strong reputation throughout Utah of producing gourmet honey, honey vinegar and honey wine, and also sell honey products to markets throughout the Rocky Mountain region and Pacific Northwest.
James had a very early introduction to beekeeping when he was a child. “I have always been fascinated with honey bees—in fact, I got my first beehive when I was nine after taking a beekeeping college course through the Utah State University Extended Learning Program,” says James. “I was too young at the time to take the course myself, so my mom enrolled so that I could go along with her. That was a big sacrifice she made for me.”
The family business wasn’t established until many years later in 2004 after creating a strong business plan. The James family got involved as a means to have more financial security, to raise their children in an environment of agriculture and to promote family unity.
“Though we started out as a small family business, Slide Ridge Honey has grown quite extensively. Our repeat sales are doing well and last year we decided we were in a good place to take our business to the next level,” says James. To leverage the businesses’ growth, James contacted the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Utah State University in Logan. “The SBDC helped us to produce a pro forma, prepare paperwork for large investors, and effectively disseminate information about the business,” says James. “As a result—our business has grown significantly, is demonstrating increased revenue and we are creating several new jobs.”
“Martin and the James family are enthusiastic bee lovers who have a fantastic business that they have built from the ground up,” says Frank Prante, a consultant at the SBDC. “They are innovative in the products they manufacture, are in a strong growth phase, and have the flexibility that is needed for business success. They have been a pleasure to work with.”
The Utah SBDC network is comprised of 10 regional centers hosted by Utah colleges and universities. The centers serve entrepreneurs and small businesses across the state and are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.