Mickelberry Gardens is the vision of husband and wife team, Matt and Madelyn. We started keeping bees in our backyard garden in Portland back in 2007, after taking a class on organic beekeeping with local beekeeper Glen Andresen. Our beekeeping outfit grew from 2 hives to 7.
Around this time, Madelyn discovered that she was extremely sensitive to honeybee stings!! This led us to begin searching for a new home for our growing apiary. We connected with Farmer Dave in Troutdale, and moved the bees to a new home on his 30 acre organic farm so that Madelyn could once again spend time out in the garden. This new, larger space enabled Matt to increase his apiary operation, and within a year he was working with 20 hives.
All these hives meant a big surplus of honey, beeswax, and propolis. Madelyn was interested in garden medicine, medicinal plants, and home remedies, so began experimenting with making infused honeys, beeswax salves, and other concoctions in the kitchen. After some trial and error, a few creations stood out and we started to consider starting a small business based on value-added herbal products made with our own beeswax and honey.
We officially started our business in 2011 making our products in a commercial kitchen space in the back of a natural foods grocery, and launched with a single farmer’s market booth in Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood.
Matt and Madelyn at the first day at their first market
The response to our products was hugely positive! In our second year, we hired somebody to help and did 12 different farmers markets all over the city. We rented a larger kitchen space, and started selling our line wholesale to naturopathic clinics and cooperative groceries, as well as opening an online store.
Fast forward to today: We continue to craft a variety of different healing remedies using raw honey, propolis, beeswax, bee pollen, and medicinal plants. We raise bees in several yards and farms, and work with other beekeepers and farmers to source the finest Pacific Northwest ingredients available. We craft our unique honey tonics and beeswax-based salves in small batches from our commercial kitchen production space in Gresham, Oregon.