Safune Forest aims to create buzz around Savai'i honey
The sweetest honey comes from dedication, prayer and sweat, says the creator the Safune Forest honey business in Fatuvalu Safune, Lomia Tiatia Lepulu Tauloa Safunetuuga.
Safune Forest is aiming to put Savaii on the map as a producer of pure and organic honey made from straight from Lomia's family home at Fatuvalu Safune, Savaii.
Making and selling honey was never part of Lomia's plan.
He has been a farmer for so many years operating his plantation and harvesting and selling kava. But diversifying into honey never crossed his mind.
"The project started in December last year," Lomia told the Samoa Observer.
"I was motivated to start and get into the honey making business after attending a few beekeeping workshops I attended and [on the] advice of the people who are already in the honey-making business.
And what began as a backyard project is starting to take off: Safune Forest honey is now sold at Frankies Supermarket in Savaii for $25.
"I was fortunate enough to start with eight boxes of frames of bees which is now securely placed at my father's plantation in Safune," he said.
"With just eight boxes, started my business and we've grown to love and committed into the business."
Lomia currently uses a machine from the Women in Business Development to produce honey and has had two harvests so far.
"Honey-making is a really good business," he said.
"It doesn't require a lot of work and a lot of people. Not like the other works i've done in the past where i employ men to help me out.
"It's not like that with honey making.
"You only need to have frequent visits to see the boxes of frames of bees."
Lomia said his family especially his children enjoys producing honey.
"It's such a great joy seeing my children love what we do because we want to instill in them that in order to get anything in this life, they need to make sure that they love what they do," he said.
"I truly believe that you can achieve anything in this life if you enjoy what you do and stay dedicated.
"When we make honey with my family, it gives me great joy that my children are helping out because we want them to continue working hard for this business as it has a lot of great positive impacts on the health of our people."
Moreover, Lomia says they've been getting a lot of good feedback from their customers, families and friends.
"(And) I am very grateful to their support and it motivates us to keep doing what we do," he said.
"This is a new business and we are still at the early stages of it."
Nevertheless, Lomia hopes his honey-making business will continue to grow and expand in the future.
"This is the first time someone from Safune is making and selling honey. So if you're around the area or if you're in Savaii and you are looking for honey, then don't hesitate to buy our product and i assure you that you won't be disappointed."
Lomia decided to call his product "Safune Forest Honey" as his product is made in Safune.
"I am a proud Safune," he told Samoa Observer.
"No matter where I go, my heart still longs to be in Safune. My product is produced in Safune and i didnt think twice to name my product Safune forest. "