A Proud History
As it happens with so many people, Larry Hasselman’s passion started out as a hobby. What began as a curious interest in beekeeping led to a growing number of hives, and in 1974, Hasselman’s Honey was officially born. He set up his beeyards in Newaygo County, where his honey is still produced today. Larry’s bees still fly all over the state, foraging on Basswood, Alfalfa, Star Thistle, and West Michigan wildflowers.
Over the years, an ever-increasing number of colonies has allowed Larry to produce even more honey, as well as expand his company to offer candles, lip balms, creams and soaps, as well as raw wax. He was able to expand from selling at Farmers Markets to stocking his products in local restaurants, grocery stores, and breweries around Michigan. And as always, his honey barn remained open to friends and family whenever they wanted to fill a jar with delicious honey.
As if the honey wasn’t a big enough attraction already, Larry also became the proud owner of a Bumble Bee-yellow Camaro, as well as a beautifully refurbished, vintage scale and cash register in the honey barn. His beekeeping stories, and bee puns, were and are endless, and are still legendary around these parts.
Along with introducing people to the simple joy of top-quality honey, Larry has also taught countless people about the pleasure, and value, of keeping beehives of their own. His honey barn became a popular field trip destination, were students learned to the value of protecting bees, which flowers honey bees prefer, and how to differentiate between wasps and bees, among other things. He’s cared for the hives at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, set up Bee Exhibits at Meijer Gardens. Larry has spoken at many local events about the importance of bees, and is still always available to talk to anyone interested in honey, honeybees, and cool cars.
Today, the Hasselman’s Honey brand remains one of the highest quality and most carefully produced honeys you can find.
A New Era
When Genji Leclair moved from Chicago to Fremont a few years ago, she knew her life would be different. Just how different, she would soon find out. While out grocery shopping one day, an eye-catching yellow and red label caught her eye. Having been something of a honey aficionado for a number of years, she was always eager to try new varieties, so a big jar of Hasselman’s Honey went into the cart.
Well, it was love at first taste. Curious about where this amazing honey came from, she noticed the words “Local Honey – Call Larry” on the jar. So she did!
Soon, Genji was learning from the best. Larry helped her set up her first beehives, and taught her how to extract the honey, melt the wax, and take care of the bees and honey to ensure that the products met the high standards that Hasselman’s Honey had become known for. And the rest, as they say, is history. Genji and Larry became business partners, and soon, the Great Lakes Bee Company was born. Genji gained a mentor and guide as she learned the business, and Larry knew that the proud traditions of Hasselman’s Honey would continue to be carried forward.
Today, the Great Lakes Bee Company is the proud steward of the Hasselman’s tradition. We work hard to preserve the sources and processes that Larry has used since the 70’s. We’re also having a ton of fun experimenting with our honey and wax to create delicious and interesting new products all the time! We strive each day to produce only the best honey for our customers, while working hard to care for our bees, and educating the public about the irreplaceable value of honey bees to our environment. We hope you enjoy everything we have to offer!