Madera’s Queen Honey is nestled in the heart of California’s Central Valley. Luis Elizondo, the owner and former corporate HR professional, never imagined that his life would take such a turn. After moving back to the U.S. from Panama for a better family life balance, Luis found himself in the world of beekeeping—a craft honed by his wife’s family for generations.

Luis learned the complex processes of managing bee colonies and honey extraction. He found a connection between his new profession and the values he cherished most: family and nature. This propelled him to create Madera’s Queen Honey in 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Located in the small yet agriculturally rich town of Madera, Madera’s Queen Honey began its journey relying on borrowed equipment from family. The business depended on local sales, primarily at farmers’ markets and fairs, but Luis aspired for more—he wanted to expand his reach and establish a robust online presence.

This desire led Luis to The Center’s Digital Growth Accelerator. Having previously received a grant through Lendistry, Luis was familiar with the organization and decided to apply for the program to enhance his digital marketing skills. The Accelerator offered Luis not only the technical skills needed to build an online marketplace but also insights into SEO and marketing strategies through a cohort learning experience.

The program also gave him the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, allowing Luis to learn from the experiences of others at different stages of their digital journeys. This exposure was eye-opening and helped him consider various growth strategies for his own business. In addition, the program was free for participants, offering valuable resources that were otherwise expensive and less accessible.

Luis values the small community of Madera. Through Madera’s Queen Honey, he engages with local farmers and participates in community programs, often sharing knowledge and resources to support small businesses in the area. Not only is he promoting his business but also strengthening the local economy.

Luis continues to work on expanding Madera’s Queen Honey with the support of his wife and their children. Whether it’s tending to the bees or selling honey at local markets, each family member plays a part in the growth of their business.

The Digital Growth Accelerator is generously supported by US Bank and is partially funded through a grant from the California Office of the Small Business Advocate.

April 24, 2024

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