Smitty Bee’s Owner Doug Schmitz (right) speaks with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds during her tour of Smitty Bee Honey Inc. in Defiance.


DEFIANCE -- Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds toured Smitty Bee Honey Inc. in Defiance on Thursday as part of her 99 Iowa county tour. Leading the tour were Smitty Bee’s Owner Doug Schmitz (right) and his son, Smitty Bee’s President Tony Schmitz. Doug briefed Gov. Reynolds on the history of Smitty Bee Honey as well as how the business continues to expand. Smitty Bee Honey is a four generation business with a more than 95-year heritage. The business currently has 53 employees with hopes to acquire more employees soon. The business packages honey as an ingredient for commercial, food service and retail sales. Commercial packaging is to supply honey as an ingredient to food manufacturers that use honey in granola, cereals, breads, yogurt or hams. Packaging consist of packaging honey in tankers, totes, pails, drums, etc. The business retail packs 25,000 - 35,000 lbs. per day for private labels, branded and co-packing honey items. Smitty Bee Honey sources honey globally, from Vietnam to Brazil and all throughout the United States and Canada. The business is growing at a 20 percent rate of growth per year. They currently process between 100-120 drums per day or 65,000 lbs – 78,000 lbs. and have the capacity to process 140-200 drums which is 91,000 lbs – 130,000 lbs. with overall annual capacity 31 - 33 million lbs.

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