Helping small businesses adapt and thrive

Bumbleberry Farms’ profits buzz ahead after pandemic punch.
Helping small businesses adapt and thrive Helping small businesses adapt and thrive Helping small businesses adapt and thrive

Business was buzzing along for Karen Mosholder, founder of Bumbleberry Farms. In March 2020, she was set to see her best quarter since her small business startup began at her kitchen table in 2011. A purveyor of artisan honey and award-winning creams distributing directly to large retailers across the U.S., things couldn’t get much sweeter.

Then, everything changed.

“When the pandemic hit, I lost 98% of my business because I was primarily a wholesaler,” said Karen. “My online store only represented 2% of my sales. I was in a really tough spot.”

Pandemic pivot

ABC’s Good Morning America approached Karen in November 2019 about being featured on the show, but during the midst of fulfilling holiday orders she declined. Now, in April 2020, she thought it was the perfect time to try again.

“I saw that they were trying to focus on small businesses to help them, so I reached out,” she said.

They let her know she’d be on the following week, and UPS’s sales team was there to help. Karen estimated the appearance could produce up to 15,000 orders.

“I had to turn everything on … at that point, everyone was kind of shut down,” Karen said. “And I’ve got to ship all of these packages and logistically figure out how to do it.”

Her UPS account executive, George Walters, was there – literally – at her kitchen table telling Karen UPS could help take her business to new heights if she was willing to consider some new ideas.

Worker bees

Karen had three weeks to ship and quickly set up a process, but there was a problem. Getting all those labels printed.

Without time or staffing to print 2,500-3,000 labels at a time, she needed help.

UPS’s tech support set up the necessary computer equipment at George’s home and he printed and delivered all the labels to Karen.

As orders and volume exceeded the capabilities of the local UPS center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, pallets were picked up twice a week and forwarded directly to the UPS hub in New Stanton.

“It was incredible. I would track the packages and hands down UPS delivered. It was pretty spectacular,” Karen said.

As a result, Karen added 15,000 new customers.

“It saved my business,” she said. “It would not have been successful without UPS.”

UPS gets that

“I’m focused now on consumer-direct,” Karen said. “With more people cooking and baking at home, the timing is right.”

And UPS is there helping her build that direct-to-consumer business. Working with marketing and other UPS partners, they’re developing long-term solutions for customized messaging and branding. Plus, they are encouraging her to push into international markets.

“It’s about educating yourself and learning to do business in a different way,” Karen said. “UPS has really helped me with that process. It’s a culture of trying to do what’s best for the customer.”

She sees UPS as a partner who helps her understand the entire process, from label and jar makers to dairy farmers supplying the milk for her honey spread.

“I feel like UPS is sincerely trying to help small businesses,” Karen said. “It’s like a whole other world working behind the scenes; and UPS gets that.”

“It was incredible. I would track the packages and hands down UPS delivered. It was pretty spectacular.”

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