Savannah Bee’s humble origins date back to its founder, Ted Dennard, selling jars of his tupelo honey in a friend’s store, which later led to his products being sold by major retailers such as Dean & Deluca. Their business model is to emulate the beehive itself — a super-organism where thousands of individuals act as one to sustain the community — and to develop products that utilize all aspects of the hive from the honey and mead (honey wine) to body care products made with unique hive ingredients — beeswax, royal jelly, propolis (bee glue), and honey.
Bergmeyer understood what the Savannah Bee Company was all about. We love clients with a mission, and — being committed to sustainable design and environmental stewardship ourselves — we also shared their passion to protect our ecosystem. We think of ourselves as a super-organism, too.
Our design challenge was to create an environment which was infused with the brand’s characteristics: hand-crafted, the warmth of Old Savannah, the passion of beekeeping, and the careful curation of each sensory experience. To do this, we developed a concept with the feel of a “modern general store” that underscored the unique origins of the artisanal products sold.
The space is anchored by two sampling bars that allow guests to sample all the products in the store. Bee educators guide guests by describing each product and the sustainable methods used to harvest and produce them. Guests are able to taste the unique notes in each variety of honey or mead and find something perfectly matched to their tastes.
Educating their guests — especially the younger generations — about the important role bees play in our ecosystem is also part of Savannah Bee’s mission. One of their programs, the Bee Cause Project, seeks to put honeybee hives in 1,000 schools in order to inspire students with the wonder of bees and spark their interest in STEM careers. To engage children in this mission, Bergmeyer created an area in the store designated for kids that features an abstracted and larger-than-life bee “skep” (a decorative garden item made from braided straw once used to keep bees), an observation, bee books, and colorful graphics.
Each guest leaves the Savannah Bee store with a beautifully wrapped, artisanal product as well a shared passion to support and sustain bees and their environments.