Nothing Important Happens In The Office
Updated: Mar 28
This quarter, the Honeycomb team has taken on a mission of volunteering some of our time to shadow and work for small business owners in our communities. As part of our mission of getting business owners fast, fair, and accessible financing through loan crowdfunding, we feel like everyone on our team should understand what small businesses are going through these days.
So, in this blog post we want to celebrate the business owners who so kindly offered their time to let us shadow them - and if you’re interested in them, you can learn more about them and support them!
After The Fall Cider - Pittsburgh, PA area
Content Marketing Specialist Calla Norman took a 45 minute drive out of Pittsburgh to visit Maria Kretschmann, owner and operator of After the Fall Cider and second-generation orchardist. After the Fall Cider is an orchard-grown, locally operated cidery that focuses on unfiltered ciders made from wild-harvested apples. Not only does After the Fall Cider produce hard ciders, but they also ferment apple cider vinegar, and Maria is planning to introduce vinegar-based sodas this upcoming season, too!
Maria told Calla about the importance of finding a mentor and a community to work with when starting out a cider business. Especially when it comes to the technical aspects, like bottling with your DIY bottling set-up for the first time, you’ll want to have someone on call who’s done it before.
During the visit, Maria and Calla noted down trees to be planted soon, harvested rosemary and thyme, spread wood chips around the orchard, and planted herbs, all in the course of three hours. It’s obvious that being a farmer and cider marker contains a lot of moving parts, but is incredibly rewarding (and important!).
If you’d like to support After The Fall Cider, you can find them at the East Liberty and Squirrel Hill Farmer’s Markets in Pittsburgh, order cider online, or book a reservation for a tasting on the farm itself!
Klevr Tea - El Paso, TX
Product Associate Jose Flores-Gomez spend a day at a farmer’s market in El Paso shadowing Marco Vallejo, owner of Klevr Tea, a recent Honeycomb alum. Marco started Klevr after working for years in the oil industry and wanting a natural means of mental stimulation after a long, stressful workday.
While most of Klevr Tea’s sales come from farmer’s markets (which are unpredictable due to weather), Marco has recently opened a storefront, and is searching for ways to scale his business. He’s also a big networker, and has made connections with others in the coworking space he works in, and has also applied to several food accelerator programs.
AMP Fitness - Pittsburgh, PA area
Annamarie Galante, our Business Operations Manager, spent some time with Cat Cantella, owner of AMP Fitness. “We did payroll, set up the programming for gym classes for next month, cleaned the studio, taught a class, and set up for tomorrow,” says Annamarie.
Cat initially trained at OrangeTheory for fun, until the pandemic caused her to shift her training online, where she donated 75% of her profits to charity. She decided to leave OrangeTheory for good in June of 2021 and start fresh. Cat didn't promote her new gym, AMP Fitness. to a single person at OrangeTheory, yet she had 100 new members on week one. “I was skeptical at first. 100 OrangeTheory ‘’ride-or-dies’ leaving?” says Annamarie.
“After seeing her in action tonight, I believe it. Cat truly cares about each of her clients, and the feeling is clearly mutual.” People genuinely love spending time with her and she genuinely loves being there. People help Cat clean up after class. People come up to Cat and tell her what is going on in their lives. People take wedding photos with AMP Fitness towels.
Today, AMP Fitness offers two types of classes: regular class packages and the option for donation classes. Clients can choose to purchase a class package and as long as they show proof that they donated to a cause of their choice, they can come to class.
To support AMP Fitness (and get your sweat on) you can book a class at their website!
Tubby’s Taste - Chicago, IL
Customer Success Manager Samantha Graf tagged along with Tubby’s Taste owner Danielle Tubbs. Tubby’s Taste is a vegan cookie company inspired by the flavors Danielle learned from the “Jamaican cake ladies” in her family who taught her to bake. Also, Tubby’s Taste was the first Honeycomb investment offering in Chicago!
“Even on a Friday, the market was crazy busy! It was just me and Danielle manning her table, and there is no way she could have managed it all on her own without a helper. Danielle typically asks her friends to help her during these kinds of events,” says Samantha.
“We figured out a nice system where Danielle did most of the talking to customers, while I took care of stocking, putting together orders, processing payments, etc.,” says Samantha. “I can see how difficult it would be to maintain engaging conversations with customers while taking care of everything else in the absence of a helper!”
Tubby’s Taste ships nationwide, and you can also find them in stores around the Chicago area.
Celebrating small business owners in every way we can
Hopefully now you appreciate the work that goes into running a small business - after shadowing these entrepreneurs, we sure do! To invest in local businesses running Honeycomb campaigns, head to invest.honeycombcredit.com