Time on the couch from a shoulder injury led Wilbur Morrison to start a new business venture building on his background in bees.
The Lincoln graduand (who will receive his degree in May 2021) formed Buzz Club with a lifelong friend, producing a new mead drink from his family honey business.
“I dislocated my shoulder, which left me on the couch for three weeks. It was then that I started watching videos on how to brew mead,” he said.
He had been thinking about the business idea for around 18 months, but the downtime gave him the opportunity to learn what he needed to do.
“I’m from a family farm located just out of Darfield. Lincoln was the only university that I wanted to go to, as both my grandfather and dad had gone there.
“I started there in 2017 and studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and finished at the end of 2020 with first-class Honours.
“Whilst studying at Lincoln, I got involved in my parents’ beekeeping business, which I bought into. I managed that while studying at university and would often take mates out to help.
“It created an awesome balance between studying theory in the classroom and applying it in the field. This combination only grew my interest in the primary industry in New Zealand.”
Armed with his new mead-making abilities, he approached lifelong friend Edward Eaton and utilised his marketing skills.
“We combined our skills and developed a light, refreshing mead for the modern market.
“After six months of brewing in a room in Darfield, we started commercially brewing the drink in Christchurch through contract brewers. We have been selling commercially for two-and-a-half months now, with over 15 stockists in the city. The main plan is to one day supply mead through the country and globally.
“We hope our product can shed new light on once forgotten native honeys and diversify New Zealand’s apiculture industry through new product channels,” he said.
Look out for the Buzz Club Mead in a supermarket near you.
Source: Lincoln University