Eat Good Food. Be Kind. Tell the Truth.

Backed by Burt’s Bees (at least for a little while)
by Jack Beuttell -- July 10th, 2013

re. social entrepreneurship, brand messaging, & honeybees

Just want to report on some cool news…

I recently learned I was selected as one of a handful of social entrepreneurs for Bull City Forward’s inaugural Forward Fellows program.  The initiative is open to any social entrepreneur in the triangle region, and I’m so excited to share the opportunity with my close friend and fellow Duke MEM/MBA, Rachel Lichte, co-founder of The Clarity Project.

Over the course of the next year we will receive leadership and business training and be responsible for curating a community of social entrepreneurs in the triangle region.  What’s more, my sponsor is Burt’s Bees, the socially and environmentally minded business founded in Maine and now headquartered at the northern edge of American Tobacco Campus.  I can’t tell you how excited Dave Nicola (my business partner, Duke MBA 2013) and I are to have their support!


Burt’s Bees modestly advertised HQ in American Tobacco Campus

I recently stopped by to meet my sponsors, who run Burt’s social and environmental programs as well as its charitable foundation, to learn more about why they chose VentureFarming from the pool of applicants.  Matt Kopac, Social & Environmental Responsibility Manager, explained to me that in the last several years Burt’s has undertaken a realignment of its business, marketing, and charitable messaging, with a focus on environmental and human health.  Compared to only a couple of years ago, you now see this theme come out more prominently in each area of activity, which conveys a stronger brand identity for consumers and a stronger purpose for employees.

Our sweet-like-honey logo:)

Our sweet-like-honey logo:)

As you might imagine, Burt’s has a deep interest in honeybee health, especially in light of the honeybee colony collapse disorder affecting populations across the world.   But saving the honeybees doesn’t resonate with every customer, especially the ones that are allergic to them!  So, Burt’s has instead focused its message on human and environmental health, which emphasizes healthy natural ecology and therefore healthy honeybee populations.  A central part of restoring ecological health, both for nature and for humans, is supporting sustainable agriculture programs like our business, VentureFarming (a for-profit incubator for beginning organic farmers).  Burt’s was psyched when they read about our plans to create an integrated and holistic small-farm production model that would support pollinators of all kinds, including honeybees—while delivering healthy food to its customers.

Sweet like honey!


  1. Dan
    Jul 10, 2013

    Sweet as Tupelo Honey?

    Sweet logo….I like the transition from gray to green

  2. Dawn
    Jul 10, 2013

    Very, very cool, Jack.

  3. Rotimi
    Jul 10, 2013

    Inspired by you man!

  4. Fred Foy Strang
    Jul 10, 2013

    Awesome stuff, Jack!
    I would enjoy catching up with you!


  5. Keeva Kase
    Jul 10, 2013

    Proud to have you on as a Fellow, Jack. Looking forward to great things.

  6. Cathy
    Jul 10, 2013


  7. Sandi Kronick
    Jul 10, 2013

    nice! keep us posted- looking forward to watching it grow

  8. Clayton
    Jul 11, 2013

    Way to go, Jack! Excited for great things from you guys.

  9. Charlotte Terry
    Jul 13, 2013

    What a wonderful sponsor to have! I have used Burt’s Bee’s products for years and love them.

    A short but sweet digression: It was suggested to me by a local bee salesman I met on the roadside ( a back road, of course) last year where I purchased local honey, that if one eats a daily spoonful of LOCAL honey that it helps with allergies and preventing many illnesses. I have practiced this now for some months eating local TALL PINES HONEY on a daily basis and got though a particularly virulent flu/ cold season unscathed this past year. I am a believer!

    Long live the Queen Bees!

    P. S. good blog , son.

  10. Gertrude Terry
    Jul 16, 2013

    What great recognition by such an outstanding company! Go Jack Go!!

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