How I Launched A Flavoured Honey Brand & Made $16K In 30 Days

Published: November 10th, 2022
Tique Chandler
Founder, Chandler Honey
Chandler Honey
from Toronto
started November 2020
market size
avg revenue (monthly)
starting costs
gross margin
time to build
720 days
growth channels
Handwritten notes
best tools
Canva, Instagram
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
44 Pros & Cons
2 Tips
Discover what tools Tique recommends to grow your business!
social media
Discover what books Tique recommends to grow your business!
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi there! My name is Tique Chandler, a 28-year-old Toronto woman, and the founder/owner of Chandler Honey. I’ve dreamed my whole life of being an entrepreneur, and I’m so glad I decided to leap at 26.

Chandler Honey is an infused honey brand (think interesting flavors like Crème Brûlée or Lemon & Ginger honey) using all raw, organic honey from my family farm where I grew up beekeeping. What’s interesting about my brand is that I’ve taken a product that is generally so boring and unimaginatively branded like honey, and I’ve put a bit of magic back into it with both the interesting flavors and bright branding.

My honey is now in 150+ stores in Canada in under 2 years, growing all the time, and I can’t wait to see where this business takes me!


I wasn’t entirely sure what business I wanted to start, so I started with what I knew!

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I grew up surrounded by bees on a farm in Southern Alberta. I always knew I wanted to start a business (even as a teenager), but wasn’t sure where to start! So I went to business school at UBC and then started my career in tech sales to build my people skills. I was really unhappy in that type of role, so I decided to take the leap in 2020 to start my own business.




I wasn’t entirely sure what business I wanted to start, so I started with what I knew! I knew I had access to the greatest honey on the planet, and I knew that there aren’t a lot of young female faces in the beekeeping world. From there, I knew I needed to make my honey brand stand out from all the others out there, and I figured infused honey would be a great way to do that.

I tinkered with about 30 flavours before launching, and I found a ‘core five’ flavours that my friends and family consistently rated as their top favourites. And my product was born!

Take us through the process of designing and manufacturing your first product.

I tried to design my first batch of labels, and they were horrifically ugly haha. I took some initial ugly jars with my ugly labels to some local stores to see if they would take a chance on me. Lo-and-behold, I had a few businesses say yes! (I’m sure based on the good taste alone). From there, I had a minimum viable product that I knew would sell.


Next, I knew I needed to hire a branding expert to help my vision come to life. We created brand colours, fonts, logos, and labels all from an inspiration board that I had created. I thought a lot about how I wanted my customers to feel about the product and how my brand would reflect that.

Around this same time, I sourced more luxurious jars by the pallet, so that I could differentiate myself from the generic honey jars out there that one can buy locally.

Once the jars and labels arrived, my final step before launch was to hire really excellent product photographers. This was deep in covid, so I knew I needed to have people taste with their eyes rather than sample at any stores. Look at the difference between my MVP and my initial launch photos.


Describe the process of launching the business.

My launch was a surprisingly huge success! I created a website with Shopify, built a little bit of buzz pre-launch by teasing photos on my new Instagram account, and filled my website with my beautiful product photos and some recipes. I mostly had friends and family following the business Instagram account, but I asked them to share some photos on my launch day and I had people from all over Canada place orders.



Most of my first-day orders were placed by friends and family but, even on Day 1, I had people I had never heard of place an order! I think a big part of this was due to my excellent product photography, but the power of word-of-mouth advertising can’t be discounted!

Everyone starts out somewhere, so getting together an MVP that isn’t great at all is so much more progress than you think!

Because I launched in November and marketed my honey jars as a great gift, I think I lucked out with timing. I sold my ‘core collection’ as a 5-pack in a nice little mailer box, and this was by far the most popular order. With a $45 SKU as my most popular item, it helped boost up average customer order size.

On my very first day, I brought in $2,700 in sales, with my first 30 days bringing in $16,000. I knew I was onto something big here!

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

I am very lucky to have a lot of repeat customers! I think this is partly because I’m really proud of the quality of my product (it’s super addictive!), but also because I make a point of nurturing relationships on Instagram and always writing personalized notes in every order.

I’ve experimented with running Facebook ads, but I haven’t found them to be super successful, especially recently. I’d much rather spend my marketing budget paying for more product photography or working with micro-influencers.

I have an email list that I make a point of not overloading with emails. I only tell them if I have a new product launching or a sale coming. Is there more potential to grow my email marketing? Absolutely. Do I want to risk ruining my relationship with customers by bugging them too much? Definitely not. I know the balance is there somewhere.

A really great tactic for customer retention is a ‘free shipping’ code for abandoned carts. Shipping on the heavy honey is the biggest reason why customers don’t check out, so I’d love to get customers to try my product once with free shipping (even if I lose money on the order), because I know my customer retention is quite high!

My most popular social media posts are always about me! People love to get to know the person behind the brand, and I make an effort to make my Instagram community feel like they know me, my business, and the product inside out! So whenever I post an image with my face or an update about how the business is doing, I get a lot of engagement.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

At nearly two years in, I consistently bring in $10,000 in revenue a month into the business. I am starting to shift away from eCommerce and more into B2B, as I know that’s ultimately how I’ll get into more hands.

I have had a lot of success getting on shelves with independent stores and gifty boutiques in Canada. I find these customers by cold-emailing, cold-calling, or dropping by with samples to as many stores as I can possibly find. These days, the biggest part of my job is sales.

I’ve recently partnered with some sales brokers who are my outsourced sales team, and they will be the next step into getting into major retailers like Whole Foods and Sobeys. Growing at this type of scale will allow my business to finally become profitable (as right now I invest any profits into new flavours, tradeshows, marketing materials, and other things that will help my growth).

In the future, I see myself expanding into more stores across Canada and the USA. I love bringing in seasonal flavors to keep my customers excited and coming back, but I could also branch into different bee products such as wax candles, lip chaps, or skin care.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One of my biggest mistakes (that is still costing me) is jumping into an expensive commercial lease too quickly. I thought a big space would be the catalyst to help me grow, but it always comes down to sales. Right now, I spend far too much of my monthly cash flow on rent that could be better spent on growth activities like marketing or shows. I’m exploring options in the future to get my rental costs down (that might include subleasing a space or having another company move in with me).

I’ve also been blindsided by a grant that fell through! I hired a marketing co-op student at the advice of a university that assured me “they have never heard of anyone NOT getting this grant” to pay for 75% of the student. Well… guess what term was suddenly hyper competitive and where they didn’t have enough money to cover the costs of all the students? Mine. So I guess my biggest lesson is to be more financially prudent, even when things are going well.

The biggest skill required as a business owner is resilience. It feels like every other day, something ‘bad’ happens that can knock me off my feet a little bit. Knowing how to bounce back more quickly and with more grace comes with practice, and it’s something I’m continuing to learn.

Oh - I also think that every entrepreneur who has the financial means should be in therapy!

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

The biggest and best tool I have is Shopify! They truly are wonderful, and the support team is always so helpful when you need them.

I partner with a shipping company that consolidates a bunch of small business orders and negotiates preferred rates with FedEx. They have been great at bringing my shipping rates down a bit!

I know it’s a basic answer, but I also love Canva! After hiring my label designer for the first batch, I’ve actually been able to convert them to Canva and now do all the new label designs myself. It’s very user-friendly and allows me to make all my own labels, graphics, and banners.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

When I was in business school, I was obsessed with productivity books and podcasts about optimizing my life.

I’ve taken a bit of a different approach these days. I spend almost all of my waking hours thinking about work, so my books and podcasts are now completely ‘me-time’, where I mostly read fiction and listen to news podcasts. This has helped with the resilience part of being an entrepreneur. Remember that life is for enjoying, not necessarily being optimized at every turn!

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Remember that almost everything is Google-able! And everything that isn’t Google-able can be found out by picking up the phone.

Everyone starts out somewhere, so getting together an MVP that isn’t great at all is so much more progress than you think!

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

No full-time positions at the moment, but if you’re an influencer looking to work with smaller brands, I’d be honored to be in touch via Instagram!

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

Thank you!

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