Brushy Mountain Bee Farm

Management Buyout
September 2014

Brushy Mountain Bee Farm designs, manufactures, sources and sells high-quality beekeeping equipment and supplies. For nearly 40 years, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm has been a trusted source of the finest beekeeping wares, including a complete line of beekeeping equipment, candle and soap making, and mead supplies. The company manufactures bee hives in a company-owned woodshop in North Carolina and also operates a sewing operation that makes beekeeping clothing.

The company operates out of its headquarters on Brushy Mountain in Moravian Falls, North Carolina, with additional locations in Pennsylvania and Oregon.

Beekeeper carrying a honey collector
Beekeeper at work
Beekeeping equipment

Brushy Mountain Bee Farm and Hadley Capital

Steve and Sandy Forrest started Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, and what started out as a two-person enterprise (Steve made the product and Sandy sold it) gradually grew into a business employing almost 100 people. To help manage the growth, Steve and Sandy hired Shane Gebauer as the general manager, who also took an ownership stake.

Shane Gebauer, President, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm

“They don’t insert themselves into the business. They describe themselves as active board members, not active managers. It’s true.”

Shane Gebauer, President, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm

When Steve and Sandy decided to sell and retire, Shane wanted to buy their share of the business and needed a partner to make it happen.

Shane picked Hadley Capital to help him purchase the business from Steve and Sandy. The Forrests retired the day of closing and Shane became president.

Hadley Capital has helped Shane grow the business more aggressively than the Forrests were comfortable doing—in the first year of our partnership we completed an acquisition and made a significant investment in equipment to enable Brushy Mountain to manufacture more of what it sells.

Our partnership is in its early stages and time will tell if these changes were prudent. We think they were, and we are excited about the future of Brushy Mountain Bee Farm.

Are you a manager or leader of a business interested in completing a management buyout of the existing owners? Contact us to learn more about other managers that have worked with Hadley Capital to complete a management buyout.

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