Cherishing the Little Things

Christmas is such a special time. It gives us a chance to take a moment to pause and appreciate what makes life important. For us, the Christmas spirit is all about love and hope and cherishing the little things, especially after such a frustrating year.  

Our second Christmas dealing with Covid means that many of us Kiwis are missing loved ones more than ever. Kindness and the support of others have never been more important in this crazy world. We are truly grateful for the kindness of our family, friends and customers who have seen us through some pretty hard times this year.

We always say it’s the little things that count, and this has never been more true than in 2021. Like most small businesses, Covid has hit us with a number of challenges. 

The indirect impact of the virus has really made itself known this year. We’ve faced major freight delays when sending our honey overseas, so it’s been really difficult to get orders out to our much loved international customers. 

Slowdowns in international shipping are still causing major headaches if you’re trying to get products in and out of New Zealand. Don’t worry, we’re hanging in there! On the positive side, we did manage to launch a range of 500g jars on Amazon USA last month. If you have loved ones in the States this is a fast and easy way to send them some beautiful New Zealand Honey.

Thankfully there have been so many little things throughout the year that have kept us sane! We thought it would be nice to share some of these with you.

The first mention has to go to our MVH team and all the little things they do to support us. Their commitment to MVH and the bees means they really dig deep and knuckle down to put in that extra effort when they need to. Beekeepers have to work early mornings and long days, even during the holiday season. We love our team’s camaraderie and their great sense of humour. Sometimes a little bit of healthy banter is exactly what is needed to brighten the day. We couldn’t hope for a better group of people. 

Our work in wilderness places makes us happy for so many reasons. Some are really simple pleasures, like hearing the happy hum of bees foraging, or driving through the Marlborough Sounds at sunrise and seeing the waterways shining below. We love chatting with our landowner partners, too,  and the smiles on their faces when we deliver some of our beautiful New Zealand honey to them to say thank you.

There are so many little things that we love about our honey. It’s fascinating to watch it settling in the jars as it transforms over time. We love how every batch is slightly different. It’s great fun trying to work out which flowers our bees have discovered to account for the taste.

Having a stall at The Nelson Market is also very special. We love the laid-back, bright atmosphere and the chance to have a chat with the locals and other stallholders, especially at Christmas. It’s very cool when people share recipes or tell us which honey they like the best. The ‘favourites debate’ can get quite interesting — people never seem to agree on the same one! In case you’re wondering, the same is true for us: Nicky’s favourite is Kāmahi Honey while Murray prefers Mānuka Honey.

Our customers who we engage with through our online store and over the phone are a treat. We love being able to send our honey throughout NZ and the feedback you give us is valuable and also appreciated. Thank you for your continued support of our products.

Christmas is a really busy time for our bees. They’re working the Kāmahi at the moment and will just be starting to discover the early flowering Mānuka. We’ll pretty much let them get on with the job over Christmas, just checking in occasionally to make sure the hives are buzzing along happily. 

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our customers a safe and happy Christmas. No matter where you are, we hope there are lots of little things that make your day wonderful. We also hope you get some time to kick back and relax with family and friends.

As always, our Christmas is all about our bees — they really are an important part of the family, particularly at this time of the year! For that reason, our MVH family tends to have a big gathering during the winter, instead of trying to get all the beekeepers together during these long days. We will gather for lunch before we all take a well-earned break between Christmas and New Year and return to see what the honey season will bring for our harvest in 2022.

Best wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year.

From all of the team at Mountain Valley.

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