When COVID-19 hit the global economy, small businesses were the hardest hit. And a significant number of businesses belonging to persons of color and Black people were the hardest hit. Despite the devastating nature of the pandemic, new businesses continued to open inspired by COVID-19 while others also launched theirs under odd circumstances like Daimiyan Menya.
Menya started her business at the age of 14 after she contracted COVID-19 and lost her senses of taste and smell. “I am a very big foodie, and I love food,” Menya told WJHL. “I’m always eating and willing to try new things, and when I was cooking I wouldn’t know what it would taste like.”
She later discovered that the only thing she could taste was butter. This was after she accidentally made butter while trying to make whipped cream and forgot about it. She discovered upon her return that her mixer had turned heavy cream into a solid, tasty mass and a new recipe that she could experiment with.
“One day I was at a sleepover and I got bored,” Menya said. “So I was like, ‘What do I want to do with my life to get a headstart?’”
While mulling over her question, she got an idea to combine what she loved to do with what people love to buy, leading to the founding of HoneyBee Butters.
Menya touts her butter as one of the best anyone can have in Kingsport, Tennessee, and America at large. So far, the public has responded well to her business. Menya said she did not anticipate such a huge response to her business when her mother told her that they have a lot of people willing to support the business. The flavors available for sale are Regular Unsalted, Honey, Honey Cinnamon and Garlic.
There is another side of Menya’s business which is using her business to advocate for environmental preservation. “If you’ve ever seen the Bee Movie,” she said, “You realize that bees are really important to the environment. If there were no bees, then there’d be no life.”
In line with her passion for preserving the environment, every purchase comes with a packet of wildflower seeds for customers to scatter in their yards and neighborhoods for local pollinators to enjoy, WJHL reported.
She would also like to partner with local beekeepers to source honey from the community. In addition, she is planning to take her business online to reach customers from across the world.