Category Archives: Business

The Buzz About Heritage Honey

Heritage Honey has a unique collection of bee products, from honey to skin care products to beekeeping supplies

by Mira Reverente

Quaint, inviting and unpretentious, walking into Heritage Honey along Thompson Blvd. is akin to walking into a friend’s or family member’s home. Jars of honey and curio items adorn the neatly-arranged shelves. A swinging glass door filled with bees stand out. It is after all a business that is bee-focused.

Co-owner Marcelino Zavala asks, “Can you spot the queen bee?” To the untrained eye, it takes awhile to spot her so Zavala had to point out her majesty. There she was, lording over her hive.

A legacy of bees

Zavala’s bees have a long, interesting lineage, having inherited them from Wailen Bennett of Bennett’s Honey Farm in Piru Canyon. “He taught me everything about the beekeeping business,” says Zavala of his mentor and former employer.

Not everyone starts out like Zavala. “Usually, hobbyists start out with a hive or two then go from there,” says Suzanne Lamey, who is Zavala’s business partner.

Lamey’s expertise lies in honey production where she was a quality assurance manager for eight years. The two were employed by Bennett where they gained the knowledge about the honey industry in Ventura County.

The bee kingdom

Aside from the honey varieties, skin care products, candies, honey products and beekeeping supplies, it’s a coop for local beekeepers and the only place that’s a retail and packing facility in one, says Lamey.

“The beekeepers bring their honey here and we package and sell them. The retail side of Heritage Honey is just a bonus but the bulk of the business is in packing,” she says, showing us around the pristine room where all the packing takes place.

Zavala also sells Nuc boxes, also known as a small colony of bees, and sometimes lends his expertise to beekeepers on swarms and other issues, for free. “I’ll answer any question on the phone and If I’m free, I’ll go out and check on their bee issues,” he says.

Wasp are you talking about?

Good, ethical beekeeping practices are important. As an example, Zavala explains, “We don’t feed bees during a ‘honey flow.’ Doing so affects the integrity of the honey,” he says.

An all-terrain natural setting is also preferred, so the bees are exposed to less pesticides and parasites. Says Zavala, “Good honey is usually judged on color, taste and moisture.”

Looking bee-yond

Probably immune to bee stings at this point, but not to small business challenges. “A good rain year is key to a good honey production year,” says Lamey, citing a challenge that’s tough to control but not unusual.

Unknown to many in the area, honey is an agricultural product so just like everything else in this agricultural region, weather needs to be on the growers’ side. “Otherwise, we have great soil for pollination for crops like avocados,” says Lamey.

Springtime is “bee season” but October to December are usually considered peak months in the business. However, the Thomas Fire last December also brought an unexpected slump in sales.

The duo feels optimistic about growth and getting the word out about their good reputation. Lamey says, “We just want this to be a gathering place for hobbyists, beekeepers and locals alike from all over Ventura, Santa Barbara and LA counties.”

For more info: Heritage Honey is at 2031 E. Thompson Blvd.. Contact 805.641.0408, www.heritagehoney.org.

Join Horizon Veterinary Specialists in Ventura for an Open House

Tour new small animal specialty hospital in Ventura.

On Wednesday, August 1st Ventura County gained a new, life-saving, 24/7 small animal specialty hospital. Horizon Veterinary Specialists, located at 5280 Valentine Road in Ventura, invites the public to their Open House on Sunday, September 9th, from 1pm to 4pm.

The specialty hospital is focused on caring for patients throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara and surrounding counties with 24/7 emergency and trauma services, critical care, internal medicine, ultrasound, digital radiography, endoscopy, surgery, and 24-hour ICU hospitalization when needed.

Meet the founders – Dr. Nancy Scott and Dr. Sarah Gray, both board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, are joined by Dr. Amy Rhoades, Dr. Melissa Herrera and Dr. Theresa Ortega, all board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The five well respected board-certified veterinarians bring a collective 75+ years of internal medicine, emergency and critical care experience, much of that time spent right here in Ventura County.

Get to know our team – Working alongside the founders is highly experienced emergency veterinarian, Dr. Mary Ellen McLoughlin who has practiced emergency medicine exclusively for the past 12 years. She and the founders are joined by an experienced team of dedicated veterinary technicians, assistants, client service representatives, caretakers, and practice managers who are all committed to excellence.

Enjoy great food and win prizes!

Learn more at www.HorizonVets.com

Locally owned Horizon Veterinary Specialists now open in Ventura

Five local board-certified veterinary specialists have opened Horizon Veterinary Specialists, a newly established, 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week small animal specialty and emergency veterinary hospital serving Ventura, Santa Barbara, and surrounding counties. The new veterinary hospital is located at 5280 Valentine Road in Ventura on the corner of Valentine Road and Sperry Avenue with easy on and off 101 freeway access at Victoria Avenue.

Dr. Nancy Scott and Dr. Sarah Gray, both board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, have transitioned their Emergency Veterinary Care practice to Horizon Veterinary Specialists and are joined by Dr. Amy Rhoades, Dr. Melissa Herrera and Dr. Theresa Ortega, all board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The five well respected board-certified veterinarians have been seeing patients in the Ventura community for many years and bring over 50 years of combined internal medicine, emergency and critical care experience.

“We have built a strong team of caring and experienced veterinary professionals and are dedicated to serving our community with progressive, collaborative, ethical, and compassionate care,” said Dr. Theresa Ortega. “We are passionate about the pets and their families in our community and look forward to working with our local primary veterinarians to provide an extension of specialty and emergency care for their patients,” added Dr. Nancy Scott.

Working alongside the owners is highly experienced emergency veterinarian, Dr. Mary Ellen McLoughlin who has practiced emergency medicine exclusively for the past 12 years. She and the founders are joined by a team of dedicated veterinary technicians, assistants, client service representatives, caretakers, and practice managers who are all committed to excellence.

Horizon Veterinary Specialists provides services including 24/7 emergency and trauma care, internal medicine, critical care, ultrasound, digital radiography and endoscopy, surgery and 24-hour ICU hospitalization. Learn more at www.HorizonVets.com.

On August 2 a ribbon cutting was held at Vineyard Health.

Photo by Michael Gordon

Dr. Jennifer Vineyard, DO, is a board-certified Internist. Her interest in nutrition, immune function, and health led her to study microbiology at Arizona State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. At Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (Midwestern University), she studied medicine and treatment of the whole person, including additional training in manual medicine (osteopathic manipulative treatment or OMT). She completed a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at Cedars-Sinai/West Los Angeles VA.

3400 Loma Vista 805-232-3305

2686 Kitchen Chamber ribbon cutting

2686 Kitchen recently held their Ventura Chamber ribbon cutting. Located at 2686 Loma Vista Rd. it is a new place to sit and enjoy a meal, or make a quick stop to pick up lunch or dinner. Their menu features hearty salads, sandwiches, and appetizers. Park right in front to pick up your meal for yourself, the office, coworkers and more. 805-643-7444

 

Joyce Wallach joins local law firm

Wallach earned her law degree at U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law.

Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP (FCOP) has welcomed Joyce Wallach to the firm as attorney of counsel. Wallach brings more than 30 years’ experience specializing in business and corporate law. She will work out of the Ventura office location.

“We are excited to have Joyce join the FCOP family,” said FCOP Managing Partner Mike Velthoen. “Her expertise in contract negotiations and business transactions will add depth to our comprehensive business law practice areas.”

Wallach graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in history and went on to earn her law degree at U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. An experienced corporate/securities/business attorney, she began her career as an associate at Sidley Austin, one of the largest law firms in the world. She later went in-house as general counsel to a Nasdaq-traded corporation. Wallach has also served as in-house counsel to the California State Legislature. Her experience includes an assembly fellowship and legislative aide position to then-Assemblyman Gray Davis.

For more information, visit www.fcoplaw.com.