SAN ANTONIO -- As parents, we teach our children many things on their way to independence. Among those things is work ethic. One local couple's lesson to their son has sparked an entrepreneurial drive which has developed into a full fledged business that is thriving that has things buzzing in a quiet home in Terrell Hills.
Bo Deweese has more than a few bees in his backyard. He has a few million. The third-generation beekeeper and fledgling entrepreneur has turned a family interest...and his backyard...into a pretty sweet little business.
"So far I've made $3,000," Bo said. That's so far this year.
The story goes like this: One day Bo asked his dad where honey comes from.
"So he bought me a box of bees and just said, 'Figure it out yourself,'" Bo recalled.
It didn't take him long to get the answer, either. That first year, at the ripe old age of six, Bo made about $1,800 selling honey. He now has 10 beehive boxes in his backyard and, along with filling hundreds of little honey bottles, Bo is helping fill bigger containers.
His entrepreneurial spirit has landed Bo a lucrative contract with Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka.
"That whole Bo and meeting Bo, and how that partnership came to be was so serendipitous. And I think, you know, he was just completely dropped in our lap," said Clayton Christopher.
Christopher and Chad Auler, founders of Deep Eddy, ran into Bo's father at a charity golf outing where they were exhibiting their drink. The next day, Bo got a phone call.
"They have Texas corn and honey. And my dad said, 'Well, talk to my son.' And they called me and said, 'We'd like to put your honey in our vodka,'" Bo said.
In two years, Deep Eddy has doubled its production, producing 60,000 cases this year.
And Bo is not the only supplier to whom money is flowing to Deep Eddy. Everything that goes into it is homegrown.
"We're the only Texas vodka that uses all Texas ingredients," Auler added.
The vodka made in their Austin distillery was created by Auler after a master's degree course at UT. Christopher, who created Sweet Leaf Tea then sold it to the Nestle's company, is the tea master. Together Auler and Christopher have come up with a honey of a product.
Auler is not at all surprised how sweet Bo's product is. Ironically, he found a different kind of honey in the same neighborhood.
"My wife, who's from San Antonio, grew up directly next door to where his beehives are now. So, the whole story just was meant to be," he said.
Deep Eddy's success has left a sweet taste in Bo's' mouth, too. It may have set him on the path to his ultimate goal.
"I want to be a millionaire some day," Bo beamed.
Bo is expanding his operation and is moving out of his backyard. He wants 30 hives. Hopefully he will be able to supply all the honey to Deep Eddy.
That's just fine with the owners.
"Bo knows honey. No doubt," said Auler.