Teen entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer's company, Me & the Bees Lemonade, will soon be available at Costco and Publix stores across multiple states.
Ulmer founded Me & the Bees from an old family lemonade recipe when she was just four years old. While the business started as a humble lemonade stand, Ulmer earned $11 million in sales at age eleven. The company's growth was due to the help of Shark Tank investor Daymond John when he invested $60,000 into Ulmer's venture in 2015. Now, Me & the Bees is sold in stores including H-E-B, Target, Wegman's, The Fresh Market, and Whole Foods Market. And with this expansion, Ulmer's natural, organic lemonade made with flax seed and molasses can be found in 1,200 Publix stores and 22 Costco stores in seven states, including Louisiana and Ulmer's native Texas. With 6,000 distribution points across the country, Me & the Bees has become a certified minority-owned company, ranked by Inc. as one of the 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S.
"National exposure alone didn't make people care. But for those who heard our story, it made them want and demand it of their retailers," Ulmer told Investor's Digest about her company's growth strategy. "Our customers have grown from those who love our history and mission."
Me & the Bees is a purpose-driven brand whose slogan is "buy a bottle, save a bee." When she founded the company, Ulmer researched bees with her mother and decided to sweeten her lemonade with ethically-sourced honey. 10% of the proceeds from sales now go to Ulmer's organization, the Healthy Hive Foundation, which was founded to increase awareness about bee preservation through education and research. Ulmer also has her own lip balm line and has written a book, all while continuing her studies at school.