A Passion for Food and the Science behind It
With an investigative personality, April originally imagined herself working in law enforcement, but her love of food ran deep and took her in a different direction.
“I fell in love with food through my grandmother,” April said. “Love was around the table and that’s what sparked my career in food and food science.”
As Nate’s resident food scientist, April has a vital and unique role within our hive. We spoke to her about a few things that keep her buzzing.
Food Science and Innovation
April works on the Innovation team conducting experiments and examining trends in honey. She says that her job entails being innovative but also being a problem solver— she needs to look at things differently than the average person, from examining crystallization or just thinking outside of the box. Throughout her day, she has to consider if a product will work on the shelf and how long it will last naturally.
When she began working for Nate’s one year ago, she had not previously worked with honey. But she learned quickly, investigating all the various elements in honey and its chemical structure.
“Honey is a whole other beast. I’d never worked with it before, and I didn’t know the chemistry or how it reacted. I had to put different elements into honey to see how it would react, knowing that honey pulls liquid out of different foods. I would take notes and test the sugars to see if it had broken anything down in the honey. This would allow me to see if the honey was still in its raw form.”
Honesty and Integrity
For April, “being honest” is the core bee attitude she keeps top of mind throughout her day at the Nate’s farm.
“I work with data and the record speaks for itself. You can’t stray from that. If it’s not good or the test isn’t running correctly, I’m going to be completely honest. We’ll have to redo it and look at the problem in a completely different way. And we’ll have to look at it in a better way in order to determine the best process or the best direction to go in.”
Being honest with her work is not only important to April, but she also says that it’s important to the entire Nate’s team. She works closely with the Quality Assurance team to ensure that the blending and bottling process is running smoothly.
April also stressed that Nate’s not only holds its processes and employees to honest and high standards, but the beekeeping partners as well. Nate’s only sources from trusted, industry-leading beekeepers across the U.S. and the world.
“We make our beekeepers test the product, and we test their product before we approve it,” April told us. “It makes a big difference knowing that and working for a company that takes great pride in its products.”
Beyond the Bees
The commitment to high-quality honey seeps into every part of the Nate’s fabric, instilling a deep reverence for work and product. April said that one of the things she loves most about working for Nate’s is the pride of work found across departments.
“I see that everybody is passionate about every single part of what they do, whether it’s the label or the product or the bottle, everybody takes pride in what they do. People buying our honey don’t know how much love is in it. They know the bottle is on the shelf, but we also want them to know the people and the love and the pride behind it,” April said.
Nate’s employees not only care about the product but also the community at large. Through the Honey Gives Hope program, we give back to those who need help. And for April, that was a very moving experience. After packing food with the Nate’s team for the organization Feed My Starving Children, she discovered a love for giving back.
“Going to food pantries and packing food for others was a first for me and was a great feeling. You go home and you end up doing it on your own on your weekends.” April has continued to volunteer for Feed My Starving Children on her own time.
The Nate’s team is so grateful for April Alvarez, her expertise, her passion and her kindness!