The Buzz about Savannah Bee

“Follow your passion.” Simple advice, but these three words catapulted Savannah Bee Company’s, Ted Dennard, from teaching beekeeping to village farmers in Central America to bottling honey for gifts and making lip balm as gifts to 2010 Inc. Magazine list of fastest growing companies for the second year in a row…accomplished in a mere twelve years.

Ted began the journey at the SBDC writing a business plan with the focus and assistance of Lynn Vos. “A small business is like a hive. Every person and item has a role to play and can influence and change their environment. I needed the funding to take those people and the product to the public.” He went “public” on Broughton Street with an EDA-MLK loan in conjunction with the City of Savannah. “Savannah Bee Company had a unique, high-quality product that was ahead of the curve,” says Stephen George, Vice President of the SBAC “Ted and his team were the first in their niche. We knew from his first visit that his passion and impeccable organization would make Savannah Bee a success.”

The EDA loan that created the signature storefront Savannah-ians and visitors still buzz about spurred an addition to the Savannah Bee Company hive. Ted revisited the SBAC needing to build a warehouse & second store on Wilmington Island. An SBA 504 loan with its flexible use, low interest rates (4.62% for Sept. 2010) and long-terms (up to 20-year fixed) fit the needs.

After so much success, what does the King Bee have to say to others venturing to build their own business hive? “Many people in business don’t realize how far-reaching their seemingly little product or service is for people in the community. The analogy of small business as a beehive – every person has a role and an impact. We all interrelate in so many ways that in the day-to-day gets overlooked. But that’s where the most important stuff happens.”