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High Country Beekeeping Supply Gurus, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Named NC Entrepreneurs of the Year

By Jesse Wood

May 24, 2013. Based in Moravian Falls and a supplier to High Country bee enthusiasts, the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm owners were recently named N.C. Small Business People of the Year.

The U.S. Small Business Administration will recognize Steve and Sandra Forrest and Shane Gebauer during National Small Business Week, and the three will compete for the national title, which is to be announced in Washington, D.C., on June 21.

brushyWatauga County Cooperative Extension Director Jim Hamilton recently announced the award on Facebook, where he posted: “Congratulations to our area beekeeping supply gurus, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm for winning North Carolina Small Business of the Year!”

Awards aren’t new to Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, as the company won Business North Carolina magazine’s Small Business of the Year award in 2009.

Steve and Sandy established Brushy Mountain Bee Farm in 1977, which began as a part-time business with an office and a woodshop in the home of the Forrests. Soon it grew hand over fist, and today occupies over 30,000 square feet with a woodshop, metal shop, sewing room and warehouse space.

Adapting with the times, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm has operated an online catalogue and e-commerce site since 1998 at www.brushymountainbeefarm.com.

Aside from beekeeping supplies, it also offers candle making supplies, soap and skin care supplies, mead and wine supplies, gifts and more featured products.

National Small Business Week, which is held June 17 to 21, in Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., began as a proclamation from the President of the United States in 1963.

“More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year,” according to the U.S. Small Business Administration website. “Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation and increase America’s global competitiveness.”

For more information about Brushy Mountain Bee Farm or beekeeping in general, click to www.brushymountainbeefarm.com.