Harold's Famous Bee Co.

Harold Gollaher and business partner Amanda Hutchings and her husband Jake Hutchings cut the ribbon last month for Harold’s Famous Bee Co. at 234 Market St. (Herald staff photo)

Harold’s Famous Bee Co. celebrated its status as a new business with a ribbon-cutting sponsored by the Ste. Genevieve Chamber of Commerce on September 26.

But in some ways, Harold’s Famous Bee Co. has been buzzing around Ste. Genevieve for a few years.

Owners Harold Gollaher and Amanda Hutchings opened the retail location at 234 Market St. on Jour de Fete weekend, selling honey and other bee-related items in addition to the product that made them “famous” — Harold’s Famous Bee Cream, a cream containing bee venom that can be used to soothe joints, muscles and dry/rough skin.

The company actually was formed in 2015 and eventually received a patent for transdermal delivery of apitoxin, also known as honey bee venom.

“If you’ve heard of bee sting therapy, or apitherapy,” Hutchings explained, “you would have to be stung to get the benefits of that bee venom into the deeper tissue. You would have to be stung or injected to receive those qualities of the venom.

“Harold was a cancer patient, and he was on chemotherapy, and he discovered that whenever he was stung, he felt better. He had the idea to create a transdermal delivery system for that bee venom, to apply topically to get to the deeper tissue.”

She said it took a couple of years to develop the product and then receive the patent.

“We’ve had nationwide distribution for that product for a couple of years,” she said. “We sell all around the country and on Amazon.” ...

Where Harold’s is at today includes a retail location with a honey bar that offers free samples of honey varieties from around the country that take on characteristics based on where the bees roam,

“This was just another step in our business plan,” Hutchings said. “It feels like every second or third e-mail I would get from our customers was asking if we sell honey. So we thought, how can we do it in a way that’s unique and different? We stumbled across this building that’s beautiful and has this historic grandeur, and I knew we could turn it into something beautiful and unique. We just followed our customers.”

In addition to offering high-quality honey from small apiaries all over the U.S., the shop features a local honey of the week. Hutchings said there are a couple hundred beekeepers within a 50-mile radius.

See complete story in the October 9 edition of the Herald.