maker: Ryan Smith from Massey Honey Co

Honey is a staple in our home.  We put it in our tea, on our toast, in our oatmeal, and I’ve always used it for the kid’s coughs, sore throats and the other vague “illnesses” that seem to come up right before bedtime. “Go get a spoonful of honey” is a phrase that often said when there isn’t any other solution. Scraped knee? Have some honey.  Fight with your brother? Have some honey.  Can’t sleep? Honey.  Flushed your hot wheels car down the toilet? Honey….and a plumber.  It’s long been valued for its’ taste, its’ sweetening ability, and its’ ability to cure.  Rumor has it in my family, that honey (and a good deal of bourbon) was the reason that my sister’s birth wasn’t a c-section.  My mom was given the news that her already overdue baby was not in head-down position, and would most likely be delivered via c-section.  This panicked my mom to no end, and my dad, trying to be helpful, prepared her a cup of tea, laced with a generous amount of honey (and did I mention bourbon?) and told her to drink it. Dutifully she did, and within a few hours my sister did the appropriate gymnastic maneuver to get into delivery position.  Apparently the turning was so violent, and startling, that my dad was a little worried he had overdone it with the {bourbon} drink, and had accidentally harmed the baby.  Needless to say, she came out fine.  As a result, tea with honey (no bourbon for us until we were old enough not to tell) was a “fix” for a lot of situations in my home growing up.  And I have carried on that tradition for my kids…minus the bourbon. At any given time, we have a bottle or jar of honey in our cupboard.  Our particular favorites are those with slight undertones of floral flavors.  When you open up the door, the smell of the sweetness hits you, and it’s amazing.  This week I have the privilege of introducing Ryan Smith of Massey Honey Co.  He not only gets to harvest the honey, but care for the bees that make it.  Next time you are at Patchwork, swing by his booth and check out his line of honey.  And in the mean time, go make yourself a cup of tea (with or without bourbon) dump in some honey, and enjoy!


please introduce yourself.

My name is Ryan Smith and I manage Massey Honey Co.- a family-owned raw artisan honey company based in Orange County. I grew up in Yorba Linda and currently live in Fullerton, CA.

what do you make or do?

We are vertically integrated when it comes to producing honey. This means, we manage and maintain all of our beehives (we have approximately 80 hives), most of which are rescued here in Orange County. We sustainably manage the health of the bees, keeping most of our beehives in North Orange County, then extract honey in it’s purest form- raw, which provides all of the nutritional benefits honey can offer. Some of our honey varieties include orange blossom, almond blossom, wildflower, sage, and avocado.

where can we find your creations?

Massey Honey can be found at many local markets and specialty shops ( as well as online marketplaces such as Good Eggs and Amazon Fresh. Additionally, we participate in many local craft shows including Patchwork, Renegade, Unique LA, and Artisanal LA.

is there an interesting story behind the name of your business?

Massey is a family name. We are related to the gourmet vanilla company- Nielson-Massey Vanilla which my great grandfather started. We decided to continue to family tradition by using the name.

how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?

I have been beekeeping for 5 years and we have been producing honey for over 3 years. I am a full time veterinarian by profession, although maintaining our hives and overseeing the honey production takes a significant amount of time. My veterinary background does come in handy when managing the health of the bees (honey bee diseases, knowledge of treatments, etc.). I also have a background in public health and food safety which is beneficial when it comes to the extracting of the honey.

when you’re not making things, what do you do?

I love to surf, camp, hike, and enjoy everything California has to offer.

is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?

Definitely a necessity! But that comes naturally for most with a creative spirit- we just embrace it and let it flow.

where do you find inspiration?

“In every walk with nature, one seeks far more than he seeks.”  (Quote – John Muir).  This is how it feels to be a beekeeper.

10272693_620179901432120_8975994937984782326_o massy-honey-jars-california MHCBeeKeeping-50 MHCBeeKeeping-120 1958534_532138913569553_1556177193_n 10440105_641258422657601_9074724116760483695_n


  1. Nice people, pure honey, and genuine product.

    Hard to find honest merchant these days.
    I would definitely buy on Massey honey products – they do their job right !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.