In September of 2019, Allyse Jackson started Honeybee Beehive Meals by herself. Now, with some help from local families, her company has seen a 1,500% jump in revenues over the last year.
The Layton-based company makes freezer meals, or slow cooker meals, and delivers them in sets of 10 to families. Originally only serving Davis County, the company now has expanded its services in Utah County.
Jackson, a graduate of Utah Valley University, actually saw her first successes while preparing for childbirth in Provo.
While getting ready for the birth of her child, Jackson started preparing meals and freezing them. When the child arrived, her and her husband realized they had made too many, so they gave extras away to friends nearby.
According to her husband, Adam, this acted as a catalyst, a sort of proving ground that showed Jackson could indeed take on a business of this sort and make it rise.
When the pandemic hit, there were only three people on staff, including Jackson, but sales from February to March doubled. In April, the trend continued, sales doubled from March and eventually Jackson had brought on 11 employees who work in a commercial kitchen space.
The company was preparing about 120 meals a week. Now they are preparing almost 2,000 meals a week.
When one person in Saratoga Springs heard about the company, they asked for a delivery to their area. The company expressed that it could not make a single delivery to Utah County — but the person then gathered a group of friends and put in an order.
As demand for the frozen meals continued to grow, Beehive Meals decided to begin delivering to Utah County.
“We did just serve Davis County, and then we just had so many people south asking if we could go out that way,” Jackson said. “We have never not sold out on our delivery dates (in Utah County). Our goal with that has been to bring the ease our company allows for dinnertime and make it less stressful for moms.”
With the company’s move south, it has seen growth of its own as the population in Utah County continues to rise.
Jackson brought up how the area is known for being a tech locale, but Jackson said that they are hoping to make family dinners at home a priority.
While Utah is already a very family-oriented state, Beehive Meals is looking to bring something different to the scene of delivered meals. While there are other companies that offer frozen meals delivered or maybe the supplies needed to cook a meal, Jackson said they found their niche by allowing families to simply throw their pre-made meals in a slow cooker.
When the pandemic came into play in March, the company saw the growth mentioned above. Jackson noted that with restaurants closing down locally, people still wanted to support local restaurants, but didn’t necessarily want to eat out.
“Just the aspect of not wanting to leave your home as much, we bring dinner to you still,” Jackson said of what the pandemic brought. “It’s different than takeout, it’s a home-cooked meal. We prep it here, It’s made with ingredients that if somebody were cooking at home, they’d use them to cook that meal. You get more of a home-cooked aspect instead of eating out constantly.”
Another thing the company brings to the table, other than food, is the ability to relieve some of the struggles families are facing right now. Jackson added that many moms are having to look after children at home with distanced learning, or even homeschooling, and Beehive Meals hopes to solve one of the most important stresses at home — dinner.