Donnie “Ray” Crosby is a man of faith, a devoted husband, a loving father, an expert beekeeper, and, most recently, the third-generation CEO of Weeks Honey Farm, Inc. (Weeks Honey).
Ray’s grandparents, Margaret and Flaval Weeks, founded Weeks Honey in 1960, initially taking a hobby and setting out to meet local demand for pure, raw, unfiltered honey.
His mother, Sharon Weeks Crosby, has been involved with the company from its inception and spent more than 25 years at the helm, leading Weeks Honey to regional prominence.
Under Ray’s leadership, the dream of national distribution is coming true at a furious pace. Having expanded distribution from 150 to 1,500 retail locations in 2015, it is clear that consumers understand the value of Weeks Honey’s 100% U.S.-made honey. He said,
“My grandparents started this incredible company more than 50 years ago, and my parents continued the legacy of quality and integrity. I’m honored to carry on the torch to new markets, with new products, and the loan from North Avenue Capital will allow us to do just that.”
As with any growing consumer product, Ray needed capital to effectively manage inventory, fill orders, and keep the momentum going. The USDA loan, underwritten and funded by NAC, is a key ingredient to realizing the dream.
“NAC provided real value for my family and me. Not just with the USDA loan, but they introduced us to a new CPA, gave valuable input on our marketing strategy, and have taken a genuine interest in our business,” added Ray.
With fresh capital and shelf space in the nation’s leading grocery stores, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Kroger, Albertsons, and many more, Ray expects Weeks Honey to be selling its honey in more than 2,500 retail locations by the end of 2016.
The nutritional value of honey is unmatched and undisputed…even the Bible agrees. Weeks Honey routinely reminds customers that as Proverbs 16:24 states, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Here’s what Eric Johnson, President of North Avenue Capital, said about Ray and Weeks Honey.
“Weeks Honey is growing fast, creating new jobs in their community, and doing so with a legacy of integrity and excellence. The USDA loan is a great fit for this rural, family business.”