Local Lake Ridge business owner John Klapperich has taken the plunge, opening a storefront at Tackett’s Mill called The Bee Store.
“It’s a beekeeping supply store, and then we also sell all of our Sweet Sophia stuff, as well as some unique boutique-type items that are all honey bee themed,” said Klapperich.
Klapperich started off just running Sweet Sophia, his own line of honey and personal care products, which he sells online.
Check out our earlier story on Sweet Sophia here.
And while The Bee Store is a slight departure from the mission and setup of Sweet Sophia, the store will carry all of the Sweet Sophia products, and that business will remain online for customers.
But the goal for the store is to be a destination for those interested in beekeeping supplies, and related products.
“Sweet Sophia, we’re in our third year, has been quite successful, and we’ve built quite a – at least a local – following, and everybody’s always asking where they can get our stuff…I’m also a beekeeper, and like most of the beekeepers in the area, there’s no place to go and get beekeeping supplies in the area…and so there was a gap,” said Klapperich.
In addition to the supplies, they’re also going to have beekeeping classes on the weekends, said Klapperich.
Once he decided to move forward with a storefront, the choice for him to open the store on the lakeside of Tackett’s Mill was simple.
“I was a commuter for many years, and Tackett’s Mill is literally across Old Bridge Road from my house, so the location was awesome…the cost was appealing [as well],” said Klapperich.
While some point to limited foot traffic at Tackett’s Mill, Klapperich is unconcerned.
“We don’t get as much foot traffic, but you know, it’s sort of a destination place…people will come here specifically for beekeeping items,” said Klapperich.
The store officially opened on December 23, and they’re planning on having a grand opening in January. They’re open six days a week – Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed on Wednesdays.
“Our goal is to make it easy and accessible for people that are going to work all the time, so they can make it to the shop in the evenings, or on the weekends,” said Klapperich.
He’s hoping to open another location in the future with a workshop space, to have more room to make their homemade products.
“We have some great folks that know an awful lot about bees, so we offer supplies and equipment tailored to beginner, intermediate, and advanced beekeepers – everything needed to start beekeeping, and we have a lot of great knowledge, experience, and advice to offer,” said Klapperich.
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