Jessica Gonzalez turned a family illness to a wellness business. Happy Honey started when her Dad was diagnosed with cancer; the family decided to turn to cannabis. Soon her family and she started to research the amount of cannabis one can take.
“We soon found out the CBD has a strong taste and smell. So we added it to the raw honey, that I was already making. My Dad had always helped me with the beekeeping. The honey helped hide the taste of the CBD,” shared Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was not always in the holistic industry or even in the cannabis business. She was born in Salinas California and grew up in Merced, California. Her family home was very loud and fun, as she had eight older brothers and sisters.
“I decided to go to a small private university in the Bay Area, Mills College. It was an intimated and collaborated environment. I studied computer science,” shared Gonzalez.
Gonzalez worked as a software developer for two years and then co-founded an agricultural technology HeavyConnect based in Salinas.
“It was cool, completely different than working for a tech company in Silicon Valley. It helped me realize I could start something on my own. After two years of doing that start-up, I went back to Merced,” shared Gonzalez.
Gonzalez mother was not doing well, so she went back home. She put her ego aside and did a bunch of different jobs including selling fruit on the side of the road.
“Technology is great, but I felt that I did not want to do that forever,” shared Gonzalez.
She felt connected, to the beekeeping and soon started to sell local raw honey. Then she started to add CBD to her honey and wanted to see if this could be a business.
“I started an Instagram page, to see if people were interested. It started as a hobby, and it grew into a business, and I am always questioning what I am doing. I wanted to make sure it helped people other than myself,” stated Gonzalez.
She then created the avocado based moisturizer. She realized she is the type of person that has high-stress moments. To help with her stress, she enjoyed decluttering. With her decluttering she saw she had many beauty products, and I wanted to create one beauty product that would help with multiple needs.
“I researched on my own. I look up, a lot of different recipes and get feedback from clients. My products are hemp-based, and I mix and match. Ingredients that work for different skin types,” Gonzalez said.
Soon she had chocolate hearts with CBD, hot chocolate mix, and more. The name Happy Honey came to her while she was driving.
“I was at a low point emotionally and wanted a name that would make people smile or laugh. I thought I could just call it “happy honey.” To this day, it makes people smile. Then my logo was created by a friend from high school,” Gonzales stated.
Gonzalez did think she should be in the Bay Area instead of the Central Valley for her business. However, she felt a strong connection to Merced. She saw that there were a lot of opportunities to grow in Merced.
“You can create anything here. It will be a new idea, and it works in my favor. I have easy access to events. I found myself doing a lot of events locally and different areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco,” shared Gonzalez.
Now that she is one year into her business she has learned that it is not productive to be a perfectionist- that it’s best to start small.
“You don’t need to know everything. I didn’t study business,” shared Gonzales.
Currently Happy Honey is working on creating cannabis experiences, starting with the dinners. We will be the first ones to sign up for that dinner.