Compiled by Alicia Wanek and Candace Brock
Life is certainly very sweet these days for Nathan Sheets, founder of McKinney-based Nature Nate’s Honey – for obvious reasons – and others that become apparent as you get to know this faith-driven entrepreneur. What sets Nature Nate’s apart is that their honey is 100% pure, raw, and real – just like Nate himself.
A hobby has become his life work. It started with just one hive in Nathan’s backyard nineteen years ago, and this year he expects to bottle over six million pounds of honey to be sold coast to coast in stores like Kroger, Costco, and Whole Foods, and as far away as Saudi Arabia. Nathan feels truly blessed to be able to live out his Christian faith doing something he feels passionate about, helping families live healthy and abundant lives, and building a business rooted in its commitment to provide the highest quality product possible while living out their calling “to serve God while serving you.”
He is dedicated and passionate about growing his company because the bigger it gets, the more they can GIVE. Nature Nate’s prides itself on a commitment to philanthropy. “We are always looking to partner with organizations that can do the best possible work with each of our dollars,” Nathan says. They are honored to be able to donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), among others.
The NBCF mission hits close to home for Nathan and his family. His own mother Sylvia was diagnosed with breast cancer when Nathan was a teenager; he knows first-hand what it’s like to watch a loved one battle this disease. He explains, “I want to make things better for them (patients), because I know what it is like to watch a loved one go through breast cancer. One way for me to express my gratitude for my mother’s medical care and survival is by partnering with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help other breast cancer patients get good care too.”
Douglas Feil, NBCF’s Vice President of Programs says, “Partnerships like ours with Nature Nate’s make a huge impact.” He believes NBCF can serve as the “bridge” between a sponsor and those in need. “The reality is that there are tens of millions of women who are uninsured or underinsured” and don’t have access to even basic screening services like mammograms. With 80 hospital partnerships in all 50 states NBCF can help women access the services they need.
One of NBCF’s programs Nathan is especially fond of is their patient navigator program which funds the salaries for patient navigators; their role, Douglas explains, is “to serve as a ‘concierge’ to guide a patient through any barrier or obstacle to getting treatment.” Camilla Payne, Vice President of Marketing points out that at Parkland Hospital in Dallas before the patient navigator program was in place, the average wait time between a suspicious finding and follow-up was 180 days; now it is just 15. “It’s really made a difference,” she says. Nature Nate’s is proud to be a part of that.
Nathan’s experience with his mother made him realize you can’t take anything for granted, and that has translated into a commitment to live out his faith in everything he does. That commitment is apparent in the way he approaches his relationships with family, how he treats his employees, how he reaches out to those in need, and in how he runs his business. Those close to Nathan tell how he would stop everything to help anyone in need.
In the long run, those are the things he wants people to know him for. The fact that his delicious products are growing into an international business, acclaimed for being as close as possible to what comes out the hive, is just icing – or honey – on the cake.
Nature Nate’s Farm provides a variety of quality products straight from nature. Visit www.naturenates.com for fabulous recipes, to see where to find their products near you, or even shop online. Try the flavored honeys (the Key Lime is amazing), fruit-infused honey syrups, and don’t forget those beautifully designed honey tins for filling gift baskets. If you’re looking for some fun this weekend, visit Nature Nate’s Farm located in McKinney. Kids can learn all about the life cycle of the bee, and even see a real honeycomb during one of their scheduled tours.
2910 Nature Nate Farms | McKinney, TX 75071
(469) 452-4429 | naturenates.com
Photography by Elle Parks | ElleParksPhotography.com
OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
“Partnering with National Breast Cancer Foundation in October seemed like a natural fit: They are an established national organization that positively impacts hundreds of thousands of women across the country by providing help and hope to cancer patients in need.”
– Nathan Sheets
In addition to a financial donation in October, Nature Nate’s will be providing healthful, easy recipes via our website and social media—all with a pink theme!
To get involved with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, visit www.nationalbreastcancer.org.
If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer or know a loved one who has, their website has an on-line education program called “Beyond the Shock” (also available on iTunes) with valuable resources and information.
“Partnerships like ours with Nature Nate’s make a huge impact.”
– Douglas Feil, National Breast Cancer Foundation