honibe®, developed by Island Abbey Foods, is the world’s first line of 100 percent pure natural solid honey and honey gummy products. The products are created using a patented technology designed to maintain all of the natural health properties of raw honey. The honibe® line of products is made at the Island Abbey Foods plant in the BioCommons on PEI, and is sold across Canada and in many other countries.
Paul Crabbe has been with the company for over six years. “It was quite a fluke that I came to work for honibe®,” he says. “I had a job with another PEI company, and I wasn’t looking for a change. By coincidence, I received a LinkedIn message about a new job opportunity on PEI. LinkedIn had matched my skills and experience with the key words of the job description.
“The ad described the position, but didn’t name the company. I decided to apply anyways, because the ad described a local, natural, innovative product with business development opportunities.”
To find out what the company was, Paul pasted the key words of the job description into Google, and Island Abbey Foods came up. “I did some research and thought it was a great opportunity to work with a company that is young and innovative. Being part of building that company drew me to take the opportunity. It was a risk to leave a job I liked, but it’s like entrepreneurship: sometimes you just need to take a chance.
“I went through the interview process, and here I am six years later and loving it. The hardest thing was leaving my old position because I honestly was not looking for a change. I just wondered if it was the right time to start something fresh and new.”
On the job, Paul is responsible for the honibe® brand in Canada. He is head of a sales force that goes across the country to visit stores, educate and explain the products. “I meet with head offices of small and large grocery, pharmacy, and natural health stores in Canada, present our products, and see if they will carry our products.
“Our biggest challenge is that we are competing against billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies which have a lot more funding to put into marketing and advertising. I truly believe we offer a better, healthier, more natural product, and that’s where we make a difference. Nobody else can do what we do: offer pure dried honey.”