It all began with a rescue!
But unlike most knights in shining armour, this guy was on a pushbike and the damsel in distress had a flat tyre. He was a butcher, she was a teacher and he thought she was a honey and so the story begins.
In a one-room beach shack hugging New Zealand’s beautiful coast, newlywed Paul lived with his Queen Bee Sheryl. They were young and full of dreams. Bees captured their imagination and their burgeoning career in beekeeping began. Butcher in residence was no longer, Sheryl continued teaching so they could eat.
Soon after purchasing their first 3 beehives the company began to grow wings - literally millions of them. The fast-growing kiwifruit industry was screaming out for quality beehives for pollination. Honey was being harvested, hauled and sold for local and overseas consumption. The company was growing at a rapid rate and so was the family - now six! It was a challenging and exciting time.
Then in the 1980’s, research by Dr Peter Molan at the University of Waikato revealed the unique properties of Manuka. Steens decided to focus solely on producing this incredible honey. They became one of the founding members of the AMHA (Active Manuka Honey Association) now known as the UMF association. 36 years later Steens continues to be a critical part of the Manuka Honey industry in NZ and investing in continued scientific research, support and advisory to the government.
As the Steens family were passionate bee keepers, the earlier years focused on honing their craft and supplying bulk honey to other NZ Manuka brands. It was only during an overseas trip in 2006, Paul & Sheryl were dis-hearted to see inferior honey being labelled as Manuka.
It was around this time they decided to upgrade the extraction and packing equipment and devised a unique way that retained more of the honeys natural goodness by pressing the whole honeycomb and using only natural hive temperatures to move the honey through the packing line.
Their commitment was to bring customers the very best Manuka honey that you can buy – and so the Steens brand was launched with the first retail partner being Harrods of London.
Today we still supply other Manuka companies with bulk honey but are more focused on ensuring our branded honey is the best Manuka honey you can buy.