Ulmer, a soon-to-be college student at The University of Georgia, says her multi-million-dollar idea started with a bee sting.
“I was four-and-a-half, during summer break, and I was stung by two bees in one week, “she said. “After doing some research, I learned that bees are incredibly important to our economy. Without them, our entire food supply would collapse, and that bees are dying at an alarming rate…”
Ulmer says the knowledge sparked her novel idea to sweeten her great-grandmother’s flaxseed lemonade recipe with honey and donate a portion of proceeds to organizations that work to save bees.
“That started over 12 years ago in Austin, Texas, and we’ve been going strong since,” she added.
Ulmer says that, since her “Shark Tank” appearance in 2016, her company has been “busy as bees,” telling viewers that the product is currently in approximately 6,000 distribution points across the U.S., including 1,300 Publix stores and in eight states in the southeast. Ulmer said she’s determined to merge profit with philanthropy.
“We are looking for more ways that we can save the bees, that we can teach social entrepreneurship to kids, and we can make a greater impact and this lemonade company is my way of doing so,” she said.
Ulmer says that, as an African-American woman and as a kid, she had to prove herself, and encouraged everyone to use the things others says they cannot do as “milestones” and “motivation” to reach their goals.
“Me & The Bees” lemonade is available for purchase at several major U.S. retail chains, including Publix and Costco.