Unveiling the Sweet World of Kettle Moraine Honey: An Interview with Doug Grall
In the heart of Wisconsin’s picturesque Kettle Moraine region lies a gem that buzzes with passion and dedication to the world of beekeeping. Kettle Moraine Honey, helmed by the affable Doug Grall, is a testament to the beauty and bounty that nature provides. With a journey that began in 2014 at their first Farmers market, Doug and his team(and quite a hard working team at that) have since embarked on a mission not only to share their golden, liquid nectar but also to educate and engage with valued customers.
At Kettle Moraine Honey, it’s not just about the products offered—honey, soap, and an array of other beeswax treasures—it’s about fostering a sustainable ethos. Through ingenious packaging and a call for customers to join their eco-friendly initiatives, they’ve set a high bar for what it means to be a conscientious producer.
In this interview, we ask a few pointed questions that delve into the heart of Kettle Moraine Honey, where honeybees reign supreme and customers are welcomed not just as patrons, but as fellow enthusiasts of the sweet world they cultivate.
Q: How did you get started as a farmers market vendor, and what inspired you to sell your products at the market?
A: We attended our first Farmers market back in 2014. We were inspired to sell at Farmers markets because of the opportunity it provided to interact with the customer. Educating customers about bees and honey is an important part of what we do.
Q: What types of products do you offer at the farmers market, and how do you ensure their quality and freshness?
A: Honey, soap and other beeswax products.
Q: What role does sustainability play in your farming or production practices, and how do you communicate this to your customers?
A: We use packaging that is reusable for most of our honey products and at minimum easily recyclable. We encourage customers to return glass honey jars for reuse. Our soaps are unpackaged with paper labels. We also produce a shampoo bar that eliminates plastic bottles.
Q: How do you decide which farmers markets to participate in, and what factors do you consider when choosing a market?
A: We currently participate in two markets. We feel strongly that a market must consist of a good mix of quality vendors selling locally produced products.
Q: What’s a hobby or activity you enjoy outside of work or school?
A: I collect and restore vintage gas-powered mini bikes. I also like to hunt and fish. I am a mentor for the Whitewater High Robotics Team -Ferradermis.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a farmers market vendor, and do you have any heartwarming customer stories to share?
A: We find interaction with customers to be the most rewarding part of being a farmers market vendor. We love to hear all the corny honey and bee jokes that customers have to share.
Q: What’s your favorite part about Whitewater or the Whitewater City Market?
A: My favorite part of the Market is my interaction with customers and other vendors. Live music is a close second.
Q: As a farmers market vendor, how do you collaborate with other local producers?
A: We collaborate with other local producers mostly with social media. Other local producers use our honey as ingredients in their products.
Q: How do you price your products, and what factors do you consider when determining the value of your offerings?
A: We price our products based on what our input costs are. There will always be others that will sell for less but we feel it’s a vital to charge a fair price that includes margin to make a reasonable profit.
Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
A: Controlling the weather would be a superpower that would be useful.
Q: What is the importance of connecting with the local community through farmers markets, and how do you foster those connections?
A: We feel farmers markets are an important opportunity to connect with the local community face to face on a regular basis. We are always happy to talk bees and honey with anyone who has questions even if they are currently not a customer.
Q: How do you stay updated with industry trends and customer preferences to continually improve your products?
A: We read beekeeping journals on a regular basis, participate in social media groups, and talk frequently with other beekeepers.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a farmers market vendor?
A: Focus on what you are good at and charge prices that allow you to make a fair wage.
Thank you to Doug Grall from Kettle Moraine Honey for sharing his insights into the world of beekeeping and sustainable practices in the farming industry. His dedication to educating customers and commitment to eco-friendly packaging is truly inspiring. We also admire Doug’s involvement in the community, from mentoring the Whitewater High Robotics Team to his unique hobby of restoring vintage mini bikes. It’s evident that Kettle Moraine Honey is not just a business, but a passion project that values quality and customer connection above all else.