Pollinators are the unsung heroes of food production, and we’ve only just begun to get that message out into the world and learn how to protect and nurture our bee population. If you haven’t heard of Marie’s Bees, let us introduce you to Marisa Papetti: Beekeeper, cheesemaker, educator extraordinaire!
Marisa has worked most of her life in roles of food service. She tells us of her journey, “My first job was working up at the Viking union with Marriott catering.” She then spent 15 years in marketing, and has now returned to food in the form of education and production. Educating and offering hands on experiences her community is what drives her. You can find Papetti teaching hands-on cheesemaking classes at Bellingham favorites like The Community Food Co-Op, Ciao Thyme, and the Chuckanut Center, but what she loves most is engaging students. “I would have to say the teaching in schools and talking at clubs like Kawana’s and rotary things like that have been really enjoyable.”
Marie’s Bees has been in operation for nearly three years (Feb, 2017), but Marisa has been beekeeping for about five years. She shares a bit of the story behind the name: “We named the company after my husband’s grandmother. She was a force to be reckoned with in her own right. People loved her. Most people remember Marie Papetti from her daycare on Alabama Hill. You never left her house without a hug and a full belly of delicious Italian food. Marie’s Bees really does have that feel. It’s as if all of our clients are part of the family.”
Sustainable Connections couldn’t be more proud of this local, woman-owned business who is so connected to the community and our local food system. We love that Marie’s Bees sources local hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnuts and uses Twin Brook Creamery for her cheese making. You’ll notice the Eat Local First logo on her packaging – a clear message that communicates how much she values this place and relationships she has developed over the years. It’s no surprise to us that the community has so lovingly embraced and supported Marie’s Bees, loyally showing up to all of their events and pop-up sales. You can stock up on Honey jars of all sizes by ordering online, or enjoy some Holiday Shopping at the Festival of the Arts through December 24th!