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    2024 IMPACT 307 Fremont County Start-Up Challenge Winner: Susan Frost

    “A very important part of my company’s values is the quality and safety of our product.”Susan Frost, Queens of Goodness

    For the past six years, bees have been a passion for Susan Frost and her husband Alan.

    The couple teaches community “Intro to Beekeeping” classes for Central Wyoming College, have done outreach in Fremont County with local groups like the Girl Scouts, and keep an active hive at Lander’s Academy of the Winds. Their classes help fledgling beekeepers select proper gear and supplies, as well as teach them the basics of beekeeping.

    “It’s just getting people to understand where the honey really comes from,” says Susan. “We have five different types of honey we use to demonstrate the difference in flavors and colors from all over the world.”

    “Susan at home with her beehives.” h/t Susan Frost, Queens of Goodness

    Frost is a retired research scientist, and after selling her local honey at gift shops and markets around Lander, decided to look in to how to expand her business: “Queens of Goodness.”

    “Beekeeping is not very profitable, it’s a lot of labor and materials,” Frost told County 10. She began working with a new product that would allow her more freedom for experimentation.

    The result is “creamed honey, with benefits.” Her pitch was one of several to the IMPACT 307 Start-Up Challenge in Fremont County, and she was one of three finalists selected for further mentoring from the program.

    h/t Susan Frost, Queens of Goodness

    Creamed honey is a spreadable honey about the consistency of peanut butter. It can be mixed in to coffee, spread on toast, or eaten straight from the jar. Frost currently uses raw honey from her own hives to create the product she calls “Vitality.” It contains turmeric and ginger, the added benefits of which are “gut health.”

    Other honey products she’s looking to develop further are a cardamom-turmeric mix called “Calm” that provides a relaxing effect, a honey with healthy immune-system-boosting aspects called “Support,” and a lemon-honey mixture that remains in the naming phase. All the ingredients of Queens of Goodness’ line are ethically-sourced.

    “I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what to put in the honey, and have talked to food scientists about it to make sure it’s right. A very important part of my company’s values is the quality and safety of our product.”

    But creamed honey made by hand is very labor-intensive. Frost sought help with purchasing all the equipment and machinery needed to expand the creaming and bottling process. When looking for answers, she found the Wyoming SBDC, Wyoming Women’s Business Center, and the Bootstrap Collaborative ready to support her.

    “There’s so much help available in the state,” she says. “The Bootstrap Collaborative have already helped me a ton, with marketing and website design, talking to an accountant, and getting a lawyer to help set up an LLC.”

    h/t Susan Frost, Queens of Goodness

    From the beginning, the IMPACT 307 Start-Up Challenge worked with Frost to build her final pitch to the judges. She credits IMPACT 307’s assistant director Brian Young with helping her truly prepare for her pitch, giving her a lot of feedback and advice for building her business.

    “We’d talk every week, and work on the financial aspect that was like a business plan by the time we were done.”

    Frost developed a three year plan for Queens of Goodness as part of those talks, and she has already completed one of the first items on her to-do list by joining “Eat Wyoming.” The online farmer’s market delivers fresh Wyoming products either directly to your door or to your local farmer’s market.

    closeup photo of bees in an active hive near the North Antelope Rochelle Mine in Wright, Wyoming
    h/t Brenda Kirk, County 10

    The next challenge will be to find enough honey to scale up the operation to meet demand. The five hives she keeps with her husband on her property only yield around 300 pounds of honey, so she is currently looking to purchase directly from other local producers that can supply the 10 – 15 gallon buckets of honey she’ll need for “Vitality.”

    After that, establishing a commercial kitchen in Lander to start generating jobs in manufacturing will be a priority. For now, narrowing down her brand identity to produce a new logo and label is key, which means finding who her target customers are.

    Queens of Goodness has already come so far, and the Start-Up Challenge will continue to partner with the brand to develop a budget for the expansion process. Frost is very grateful.

    “I would have made a lot of mistakes without it.”

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