Nakusp Secondary School 2017 graduate Cameron Olson has done it again. In the finals of the Junior Dragons Den competition held Saturday May 5 in Trail, his business Wild Kootenay Honey was chosen as the winner among the three regional finalists.
“I felt amazing, relieved, and was thinking this will help with my debt,” he said. The $1500.00 purse presented to him by Community Futures will go towards his startup business expenses. He plans to sell his specialty honey through local farmers markets and small retailers, though also divulged that he has been approached by two Save-On Foods managers to put his product in their store.
In the process of purchasing 32 beehives and equipment from Charlie and Jackie Wild, Olson is creating his own summer employment as a beekeeper and honey retailer. Currently a business student at Okanagan College, Olson plans to spend the next four months working full time in his startup. He will be completing a course in digital marketing, resulting in the creation of a website and social media presence in addition to producing and selling honey.
Olson will be setting up shop at his residence beginning right away, and has already been to see the bees. Thanks to the late start to spring, things are already behind but he’s not worried. He plans to harvest between July and August and wants to keep production manageable this year with realistic goals. He said, “It’s very restricted this year but coming next year it could be something much bigger. It depends how I structure things and how I do in my first year.”
He hopes to one day give back to Nakusp Secondary School in mentoring within the same program where he cut his entrepreneurial teeth. The Outdoor Education program has a small business component- they were responsible for launching the successful Tri-flasher fishing lure and the E-Z Lite Tinder Block.