Ruben Sarino was part of a group of students, who last year were studying business models at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. One of the group members had a knowledge of honey, so the group used that product for the direction of project.
When the class ended, Sarino decided to continue moving forward with the concept and bought the Pacific Coast Honey brand rights from the other students in the group. He then grabbed Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo student Errol Leon last summer to handle sales and marketing while he concentrates on creative work, such as package design, graphics work and the company's online and social media presence.
"We're actually not beekeepers, instead what we do is we source the best honeys around the Central Coast and up and down California's coast," said Ruben Sarino. "We work with small family-owned apiaries to get some of the best honeys we can."
The idea for Pacific Coast Honey is to make artisanal honey varieties available beyond the local farmers' market through Internet sales, and specialty and grocery outlets.
Currently, Pacific Coast Honey is sourcing most of its honey product from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. The pair is working to venture throughout the state, however, and is talking with an apiary in Santa Cruz County that produces honey varieties including cherry and peach blossom.
Recently, Sarino and Leon reworked the company's website and relaunched the brand with new logos and packaging. The pair has other expansion plans in the works as well.