The honey products from a McDowell County small business can now be found at the gift shops for the Biltmore Estate and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Sharry Mikell and her husband, Doug, are the owners of Bee Naturally by Sharry and Mikell’s Farm Honey. Their home-based business is located in Old Fort and their property touches the Pisgah National Forest. Around 100 years ago, the widow of George Washington Vanderbilt sold more than 87,000 acres of property to the federal government, which became the Pisgah National Forest. So, the Mikells said their land has a connection with Biltmore.
Now, their product line Bee Naturally by Sharry is a vendor at the Biltmore Estate. You can find their honey-based items in the shop located at the estate’s entrance in Biltmore Village.
“We will be carrying Bee Naturally products at the Gate House Shop - the product should be in the shop by mid- to late June,” said Stephanie Fridge, a buyer within the retail operations of the Biltmore Co. “Biltmore’s retail team likes to provide a variety of quality products to give our guests the very best shopping experience. We also like to support local and eco-friendly vendors, and Sharry ticks both of those boxes for us. We will be offering four flavors of lip balm, a hand salve for gardeners, a body balm, and a body crème in a pink lemonade scent.”
Mallory Flynn, a spokeswoman with Biltmore, said she does not believe there are any other vendors from McDowell County at the estate.
In addition, both Mikell’s Farm Honey and Bee Naturally by Sharry products are sold at gift shops along the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can find them at the Blue Ridge Parkway visitor’s center and the Folk Art Center in Asheville as well as the visitor’s centers for Craggy Gardens, Waterrock Knob, Humpback Rocks, Doughton Park, Moses Cone Memorial Park, the Blue Ridge Music Center, Linville Falls and Peaks of Otter. These are a total of 10 places throughout the Blue Ridge Parkway in both North Carolina and Virginia.
The Bee Naturally by Sharry products, along with our Mikell’s Farm Honey, are also sold at the Orchard at Altapass, along with the McDowell Chamber/Visitor's Center and our lip balms at English Farmstead Cheese locally in McDowell, according to Sharry Mikell.
“We are honored and grateful that Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Parkway believe in our quality products and support our small businesses,” she said to The McDowell News. “It touches our hearts knowing our products meet their qualifications and high standards and they have welcomed us to become their vendor. We are over the moon excited with our business relationships.”
The Mikells have been beekeepers since 2013 and use organic beekeeping practices. Their honey is labeled as Mikell’s Farm Honey and they are North Carolina certified honey producers. Their Mikell’s Farm Honey, has won twice recently in the International Black Jar Honey Tasting Contest, Sourwood Category, which was held in Asheville.
They use the wax that had capped the honey cells in the Bee Naturally by Sharry products. Sharry Mikell uses their beeswax, organic and natural ingredients, along with therapeutic grade essential oils for flavor and scent in all of the products.
She said she takes pride in the formulas that she creates and the quality of the products. Everything is made in small batches.
The body butters, salves, balms and body cremes do not contain any water and a little bit of product goes a very long way, so only start with a pea size amount to see coverage. The lip balms are SPF 15 naturally from the beeswax in the formula, according to Sharry Mikell.
For more information, visit: www.mikellsfarmhoney.com.