Product Through People
Sam Ingrassia on his role at Nature Nate’s Honey Co. and the mission behind the honey.
As the Director of Spiritual Development, Sam Ingrassia holds a unique position at Nature Nate’s, one that represents the mission behind our honey. We’re here to share a little bit about Sam’s valued role within our Nature Nate’s family and what drives him every day.
Sam is a husband of 44 years and father to three daughters. He has three young grandchildren who call him “Sam-pa” and who, he says, are his greatest joy in life right now. After leaving his native St. Louis, Missouri, Sam first taught at a Bible college in Florida and then pastored in New Jersey. Thirty years ago, he relocated to Texas to become involved with Mission’s Ministry where he met Nathan Sheets, Nature Nate’s founder and Chief Steward.
His Honey Role
A long-time friend and mentor of Nathan’s, Sam has been involved with Nature Nate’s since its inception in various ways but always through supporting Nathan. Two years ago, Nathan brought him on as the Director of Spiritual Development, because Nathan wanted to have a team member focused on the personal development of each Nature Nate’s employee.
“We see Nature Nate’s as an opportunity to touch people’s lives in the community and to use it as a platform for the advancement of God’s kingdom, in people and through people,” Sam said. “And so that’s the role I play. It’s really about people development at a lot of different levels depending on the need.”
Sam meets with people in all areas of the company, from the farmhouse offices to the bottling plant. Counseling and mentoring both individuals and groups, Sam says that his role really means providing shepherding and care for people, similar to a pastor. Through hospital visits, funerals, Wednesday Bible study, praying with people, and countless other acts, he supports Nature Nate’s team members on a deeply personal level.
Love at Work
For Sam, Nature Nate’s provides a unique opportunity to shape the lives of others and contribute to each person’s individual growth. And he believes that investing in the well-being of the employees elevates the company and the product.
“I’m trying to help people see Nature Nate’s as a place of holistic development, a place for them to be blessed and not just work, a place where they can be motivated to do their best with pride of work and enjoy their work. That’s going to add to the quality of the company overall.”
Because we believe in personal growth and individual contribution at Nature Nate’s, we try to follow six different bee attitudes. These attitudes govern the way we run our company, the way we interact with others, and the way we approach our work. While Sam tries to implement all six attitudes, he says that if he had to choose one, it would be “bee loving.” He told us, “I’m trying to show that love has a role in the workplace. I think it’s about demonstrating the love of Christ and nurturing a loving environment where people really care for each other. It’s not just being coworkers but, as much as possible, friends and having relationships that are holistic.”
It’s on the Bottle
Printed on each Nature Nate’s label is Psalm 119:103, “Thy Word is sweeter than honey.” And written on the back of the bottle is, “We thank God for allowing us to serve you and your family.” For Sam, this is the heart, the drive, and the meaning behind Nature Nate’s. He says that you can truly look to the bottle to find out what the company is all about.
“We want our product to be a quality, world-class honey, which is being recognized,” Sam said. “We want people to understand it’s not just about the good product, it’s the people and the purpose that lies behind it. We really believe this is all done under God. And we want people to know it–that’s why it’s on the label.”
Sam believes that focusing on the people and contributing to their overall happiness and spiritual life impacts the quality of the product. Having happy and satisfied people results in a top-quality, well-cared-for, delicious honey product. And Sam eats that honey every day by the tablespoon.
We feel blessed to have Sam as part of our Nature Nate’s family. He inspires us to “bee loving” and “bee faithful.” We hope he will inspire your family too!