“Our social enterprise is not a business with a mission; it’s a mission with a business.”
In the summer of 2017 five survivors of trafficking and prostitution who wanted to build a new life were invited to help Thistle and Bee grow a business. We had a handful of beehives and a great recipe for honey-sweetened granola. With a part-time program director, a few dedicated volunteers, and those five remarkable women, we went to work.
Today the women served by Thistle and Bee are helping care for 80 bee hives. They are baking granola, harvesting and bottling honey, and making other products to supply over a dozen retail outlets, farmers markets, and other venues. They are earning an income as they acquire a host of skills—from process mapping and inventory control to stress management and customer service.
Our social enterprise generates revenue to support programs designed to help women on a journey of healing and hope. The journey requires grit, courage, and a refusal to settle. Yes, Thistle and Bee is a business with a conscience. But we’re more than that. We’re a community where dreams are born and lives are changed.
When you sprinkle Thistle and Bee granola over a bowl of yogurt or stir a spoonful of Memphis Honey into a mug of steaming tea, you are joining a movement to make the world a more just place for women everywhere.