founder of Burts Bees, will meet the public
at the Mast General Store next weekend.
Beekeeper Burt Buzzes Into Mast Store
Burts Bees Skin Care &
Beauty Experts Meet Public June 4
By Jeff Eason
By any standards you can think of, the success of Burts
Bees Earth Friendly Natural Personal Care Products is
Two decades ago New England eccentric Burt Shavitz caught
a swarm of bees and decided to learn what beekeeping was
all about. He studied some old books on the subject and
learned not only how to care for the hive, but also how
to make polish and other products from the leftover beeswax.
Shavitz started his first factory in an abandoned one-room
school house in rural Maine where he and his coworkers
bottled honey and manufactured beeswax polish for shoes,
stoves and furniture. The products were sold at craft
fairs around Maine.
In the late 1980s, Shavitz moved his Burts
Bees operation into an old bowling alley in Guilford,
Maine. By 1991 his Burts Bees lip balm had become
a big seller in natural food stores and other outlets.
The company was also doing a thriving mail order business
and was making and selling a half-million beeswax candles
Deciding that the company had outgrown its Maine base
of operations, Shavitz moved Burts Bees to North
Carolina in 1994. The first factory was located in Creedmoor,
North Carolina but relocated to its current location in
Raleigh two years later.
Burts Bees is now one of the leading sellers of
personal skin care and beauty products in the world. With
growing concern about the chemical additives in cosmetics,
Burts Bees is benefiting from its natural source
materials in the eyes of consumers.
Burt Shavitz, the man who started it all with one hive
of bees, will come to the High Country next weekend for
two seminars at the Mast General Stores in Valle Crucis
and Boone. The appearance is part of the Mast General
Stores Land Trust Day Celebration.
Joining Shavitz will be Chief Pollina and Burts
Bees resident beauty expert, Hannah Quimby.
Shavitz and Quimby will appear on Saturday, June 4 from
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Little Red Schoolhouse in
Valle Crucis for a Consumer Seminar. All seminar participants
will receive a selection of Burts Bees travel-size
From 10:30 a.m. to noon Quimby and her staff will give
free skin consultations. From noon to 2 p.m., Quimby and
Shavitz will meet with the public.
Another customer seminar will take place at the Mast General
Store in downtown Boone from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The seminars
are free and open to the public. For more information,
call the Mast General Store at (828) 963-6511.
To honor Mast General Stores Land Trust Day, 20%
of Burts Bees products sales of the day will be
donated to the trust.
Land Trust Day
Celebrated for the third year in a row, the Mast General
Store Land Trust Day on Saturday, June 4th is a fund-raising
event encouraging new memberships local land trusts and
an educational opportunity to learn how these groups are
working to preserve the natural heritage of our area.
The various land trusts will have representatives at an
information table at both locations of the Mast General
Store in Boone and Valle Crucis on Saturday.
With more than 6,000 acres of total land developed
each day, it is imperative that we look around us and
preserve our beautiful spaces and open farmland for future
generations to enjoy and benefit from, said John
Cooper, president of the Mast General Store. Our
Land Trust Day helps highlight local organizations that
are working to do just that.
As part of the June 4th event, representatives from the
High Country Conservancy, the Blue Ridge Rural Land Trust,
and the National Committee for the New River will be on
hand at both locations of the Mast General Store. Visitors
will be able to talk with the representatives about ongoing
land conservation projects in our area.
The Mast General Store will donate 20% of sales from the
day to these three organizations.
Founded in 1974, the National Committee for the New River
was founded to stop two dams proposed on the New. The
land trust arm of the organization is active in North
Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia and has now protected
2,000 acres and 25 miles of river from development. The
organization is active in the High Country through the
Todd South Fork Greenway Project which ahs protected over
400 acres and 2½ miles of riverfront, which includes
the Appalachian State University Biological Research Station.
Founded in 1987, the High Country Conservancy focuses
on protecting the natural resources of Appalachia by conserving
land with significant ecological, cultural, recreational
and scenic value in Watauga, Avery and Ashe counties.
The HCC has thus far protected 973 acres with over 300
of those located in Valle Crucis. With more than 550 members,
the HCC was recognized nationally with the Allen Morgan
Award for Excellence in 2003.
An active organization for the past eight years, the Blue
Ridge Rural Land Trust has now protected over 5,000 acres
and has created two new state parksBullhead Mountain
in Alleghany County and Beech Creek Bog on Beech Mountain.
The BRRLT is currently working on 28 projects totaling
4,600 acres in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery Mitchell, Wilkes,
Watauga and Yancey counties.
We are excited about providing this opportunity
to the land trusts in our local area, said Cooper.
The preservation and conservation of important view
sheds and environmental sites is beneficial not only to
the quality of life for the residents in our area, but
goes a long way to further the sustainability of the tourism
industry that is one of the mainstays of our economy.
For more information about Mast General Stores Land
Trust Day, call (828) 963-6511.