He’s a buzzing, young entrepreneur taking the world by storm (or in this case, by bee hive!)
I sat down with 13 year old Grayson Linville and father Aubrey Linville to learn more about young Grayson’s inspiring journey as an entrepreneur and his buzzing honey bee business. I got to learn more about one of VJC’s innovative partners while we exchanged stories over avocado toast at the Stratford location. Here at VJC, we love partnering with local businesses who contribute to the booming village of Winston-Salem. “G-Money Honey” is served on our breakfast menu in several food items, including scrumptious examples such as the sunrise chia parfait and granola girl yogurt bowl.
Most younger boys ask Santa Claus for the newest video game or scooter to ride in the neighborhood, but when Christmas came around for 8 yr old Grayson Linville, he asked Santa for a bee hive.
I asked Grayson what inspired his love for bees, and he shared that the passion came from a casual outdoor school activity. Attending Summit School located on Reynolda Road, Grayson and his peers would venture outside of the classroom and be “assigned roles to take care of the bees”. From this exposure, Grayson became hooked on beekeeping and came up with the idea of selling his own honey.
When asked about the harvesting process behind the honey jars, the expert didn’t seem phased with the task of being a beekeeper and responded with modest shrug - “It wasn’t terribly hard.”. As the novice, I didn’t know what all beekeeping entailed, but Grayson’s dad, Aubrey Linville shared that the honey bee business is in fact “a lot of work”:
To begin, a queen bee is the first, essential component of building a honey bee community. Living in the bottom of the box called the “brood” she lays roughly 2,000 eggs to create her swarm! All bees (except Queen B) are responsible for bringing pollen back to the hive to create their food - honeycomb. From there, it becomes time for Grayson to take charge. He has to blow off the bees, remove the wax from the capped honeycomb to extract the honey, and then bottle it up for purchase. Grayson has six hives of Italian and Russian bees spread out among downtown WS and the local countryside (two hives are even above VJC’s 4th street location on the roof of the twin city lofts!) It indeed looks to be a lot of work (and to me, a little intimidating) but the confident beekeeper is completely unfazed.
With a ring such as “G-Money Honey”, it seems like Grayson was always meant to be a beekeeper. However, the idea of starting a honey business didn’t appeal to him and his Dad until that first shipment of bees arrived from Wilkesboro. Suddenly, honey was overflowing and it dawned on the father and son that they could share nature’s sweetness with the Winston-Salem community! I asked Grayson where “G-money” came from and he proudly told me its been his nickname since he was little. So what happens when you put a beehive and G-Money Linville together? G-Money Honey of course!
G-Money Honey has given Grayson and Aubrey Linville something to do together. “I am an entrepreneur myself and I love seeing Grayson develop the skills to be one too”. Aubrey Linville shares. “It’s a teachable journey” he states, and a valuable one as well! Grayson is very involved in not just processing the honey, but building his business as well. He has ventured out to sell his honey and helped design the logo for “G-Money Honey”.
Alongside his hard work with the honey business, Grayson is quite the outdoorsman. “He doesn’t watch much TV and prefers golfing, hunting, and fishing,” shares father Linville. This entrepreneur seems to know how to balance his leisure time and work life very well.
Since we met up at the Stratford location, I couldn’t resist asking Grayson his favorite VJC item. He loves the avocado toast and sunset smoothie. I have to say, Grayson knows our menu almost as well as he knows beekeeping!