Hobby turns into family business: Clover Blossom Honey to be honored at dinner

Although it’s been in business since 1959, Clover Blossom Honey could be one of the best kept secrets in Wabash County.

“We’re probably better known out of the state than we are in Wabash County,” said Don Shenefield who started the business.

Today, Clover Blossom Honey, located in LaFontaine, is owned by Don’s son Dave, and includes three generations of family on staff.

On March 10, the Shenefield family will be honored as the 2020 Farm Family of the Year at Grow Wabash County’s annual Salute to Agriculture dinner.

“I started the business in 1959 as a hobby,” Don said. “A friend of mine bought a bunch of bees in Kokomo and he didn’t have the money to pay for them, so he asked me if I would buy half of them, and that was a mistake. Then I had three or four big outfits around that wanted to sell me bees, so I gradually got to the point after 10 years, two jobs and four hours sleep … I decided I either had to do this or that, and if I was going to use my energies to build a business, I might as well build my own instead of somebody else’s.”

But the start of the business can trace its roots back even further.

“My great-grandfather had a couple of bee hives in the orchard,” Dave said. “(Dad) started his hobby in 1959, and, of course, I was a kid and as long as my feet were under his table, I did what he said, and so I worked with the bees.

“I hated bees. I was never so glad to graduate high school so I could get away from bees.”

Posted on 2021 Mar 02