Sweet Beginnings won Illinois State Fair Blue Ribbon award for its honeycomb produced at O’Hare International Airport

CHICAGO, 2015-9-23 — /Travel PR News/ — For a growing social enterprise in Chicago and one of the world’s largest airports, victory has never tasted so sweet! In August, Sweet Beginnings, LLC won an Illinois State Fair Blue Ribbon “First Premium” award for its honeycomb produced at O’Hare International Airport.  Judges at the Fair were impressed by the O’Hare honeycomb’s high quality and cleanliness. The grounds at O’Hare are ideal for pollinators like bees – full of flowering plants that make great honey.  In fact, some studies have shown that urban areas may produce higher quality honey than rural areas where crops are more likely to be fertilized.

For more than four years, Sweet Beginnings has maintained beehives at O’Hare.  With over two million bees, the apiary at O’Hare is the largest at any airport in the world and was the first major on-airport apiary in the U.S.  The initiative was made possible through a job training partnership with the City of Chicago’s Department of Family Support Services, the North Lawndale Employment Network and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).  The apiary provides valuable job experience to men and women each year who otherwise might struggle to secure a job due to lack of work experience and a criminal background.  Sweet Beginnings’ apiaries employ 30-40 people.

The O’Hare Apiary features 75 beehives that produce over 2,500 pounds of Certified Naturally Grown honey per year.  The honey is processed and distributed as part of the Sweet Beginnings Beelove™ product label.  Beelove™ honey and honey-based skin care products including moisturizers, exfoliators, shower gels, soaps, and lip balm are sold at O’Hare and Midway in Hudson News stores operated by HMS Host and the O’Hare Farmer’s Market kiosk.  Beelove™ honey is also a featured ingredient at award-winning celebrity chef Rick Bayless’s Tortas Frontera restaurants located in O’Hare.  To learn more about O’Hare’s apiary program, as well as other CDA sustainability measures, please visit the O’Hare sustainability page on CDA’s website.

SOURCE: Chicago Department of Aviation

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Brenda Palms Barber, CEO of Sweet Beginnings, with David Robbins, CDA Projects Administrator - Environment & Sustainability, and the award-winning O'Hare honeycomb.

Brenda Palms Barber, CEO of Sweet Beginnings, with David Robbins, CDA Projects Administrator – Environment & Sustainability, and the award-winning O’Hare honeycomb.

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