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From the Farm:

Making a Difference in People’s Lives: Meet Nate

Meet Nathan Sheets, Founder and Chief Steward of Nature Nate’s Honey Co. Learn more about how honey drives his passion for helping people move forward in our one-on-one interview with Nature Nate himself.

When you bought the company from Fred Richardson, did you ever think it would end up where it is today?

I wish I had been one of those guys who had great vision of what the company was going to turn into. But honestly, the way that God has always worked in my life, it was just a little step that I was supposed to take. And I was more focused on the little step versus the journey.

In some sense, I felt a stewardship and responsibility because he entrusted me with the company going forward. I was just trying to do that day by day, year by year, but hindsight is always 20/20 where you can say, “Oh my gosh, look at that!”

I just keep trusting the Lord and moving forward.

 

Making a Difference in People's Lives

After five years of filling honey in his home, Nathan Sheets brought the Nature Nate’s brand to life in 2012.

What are you most proud of?

The thing I am most proud of is the people. The people that have been brought to be part of the honey company. The way in which people show up that have a specific skill set that is necessary for a time during the growth of the company. To watch God’s hand in that, and that He brings the right people in at the right time.

But also, just seeing the cumulative effect of all the people. Someone asked me early on, “What do you want to accomplish with the honey company?” And I said, “I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I want to make a difference emotionally, relationally, intellectually, spiritually, financially and all the touch-points in people’s lives.”

Making a Difference in People's Lives

Nathan and his team send van loads of grocery donations to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

So, I really see that as a way to really make an impact in multiple generations. Because the things we do here – like our bee-attitudes: bee honest, bee loving, bee creative, bee passionate, bee generous, and bee faithful – those are things that people live out at work, where you spend more waking hours than you do at home. You now take those back into the home, and people begin to be loving, be kind, and be passionate in the context of their home and family. And then those kids learn the same traits and do the same thing. And so just from a work environment, when you have a really healthy environment, you can make that kind of impact from a long-term perspective.

Making a Difference in People's Lives

Nature Nate’s staff volunteer year after year at the Samaritan Inn, a shelter for families in need.

What has it been like raising a family while growing a company?

Raising my family inside Nature Nate’s has been really fun along the way. The other day I saw a video of Haddon, who is now 16, and Sophie, who is now 14, and at the time they looked like they were maybe 7 and 5. We were in Market Street doing demos together, and they had little North Dallas Honey Company T-shirts on. To just watch that video and to see them now go to trade shows in L.A. almost fully grown, to see the growth and experience they’ve had being a part of the honey company, I think it’s really awesome and unique. And I hope that God, in years to come, will give us an opportunity for us to all get to work together.

Making a Difference in People's Lives

Nathan’s son Hudson, now 18 and the oldest of four, has been a part of the honey business since he was a little honeybee.

What are you most excited about?

Probably just the growth. The growth is just astounding. And to see now that we’re going from the core honey products to nut butters, and jams and syrups. It’s a vision coming to fruition. Something that we came up with 3, 4, 5 years ago, and seeing it now really take root. And so, from that perspective, always seeing a vision coming to life is exciting and very fulfilling.

What is your biggest dream for the company?

I’ve prayed and asked God to give me thousands of employees. Going back to my earlier statement: the opportunity to make a difference in thousands of people’s lives. In some sense I think, “Oh my gosh the headache,” with all those people. Because honestly, getting into people’s lives is messy – everybody’s lives are messy. And so, getting a whole bunch of people together into one environment – it’s a challenge sometimes. But there are so many great golden nuggets that come along the way that are so much more powerful and impactful than just the daily little challenges that you have – that it makes it worth it, and makes me motivated to show up here tomorrow.