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Chandler Honey: Crafting Sweet Success as an ICCC-Pizza Hut Equal Slice Grant Recipient

By ICIC | August 30, 2023

Tique Chandler, Founder & CEO
Chandler Honey

The daughter of bee farmers, Tique Chandler, grew up exploring the vast scenic prairies of Scandia, Alberta–a small town in Southern Canada with a population of around 140. She remembers her childhood as a magical world surrounded by thousands of bees. Her upbringing on the Scandia Honey Company farm taught her the art of beekeeping and honey-making, honed during the family’s 87 years in business, as well as the value of quality work. “Putting on the bee suit, getting my hands sticky, working with the extracting of the honey every year since I was a teenager, and understanding the process fully gave me a deep understanding and appreciation for how much work goes into creating honey–both by the bees and the beekeepers.” When Tique left home to attend college in Vancouver, she aspired to gain the skills needed to become a business owner. Years later, drawing inspiration from her childhood memories of irresistible honey, she created her own unique product, Chandler Honey.

Tique beekeeping at the Chandler family farm in Alberta

Tique’s passion for family and quality honey is evident in the handcrafted process she uses and the high standards she upholds. The process begins with the same honey Tique grew up with, shipped in large drums from the Chandler family farm in Alberta, to her headquarters in Toronto. She hand-scoops the honey from the drums into a creaming machine that stirs it for 48 hours until it reaches a beautifully smooth texture. Then, she adds her twist, infusing the honey with flavors like Créme Brûlée, Earl Grey, Mocha, and Lemon Ginger. Tique processes her all-natural ingredients by hand, zesting lemons and scraping vanilla beans to get the best-tasting product. Finally, she hand-scoops the honey into jars proudly labeled with her family name.

Nurturing Success Amidst Challenges

Tique began her journey into the honey business in 2020, amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic. She could not utilize traditional marketing methods, such as farmers markets, so she focused on online marketing. Chandler reflected, “It was an interesting time to launch a business. I shifted a few things, like investing in really good product photography, because I knew that people couldn’t be out sampling food, so they needed to taste with their eyes.” As the initial turbulence settled, Tique turned her attention to expanding her sales.

Ever searching for growth opportunities, 2021 grant winner Nicole Teschl shared the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC)-Pizza Hut Equal Slice Program, a 40-hour “mini-MBA” for Canadian small business owners, with Tique. Having a degree in business, she was initially hesitant to submit her application, concerned that she already knew the course materials. But, upon further consideration, she realized the program offered a space to apply business theory to her company in real time. “In undergrad, it was all theoretical. I was imagining a made-up business for each scenario. Now, especially going through this program, I’m learning the same things, the fundamentals that I might have already known, but I am looking at it through the lens of my business and how it can apply to me.”

“In undergrad, it was all theoretical. I was imagining a made-up business for each scenario. Now, especially going through this program, I’m learning the same things, the fundamentals that I might have already known, but I am looking at it through the lens of my business and how it can apply to me.”

Chandler also discovered a sense of belonging and companionship through her participation in the program. As a business owner, she often felt isolated and disconnected, but the opportunity to engage in small group discussions with fellow entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and skill sets proved immensely beneficial for her personal and professional growth. Because of this, she enthusiastically recommends the program to other small business owners.

A Taste of Sweet Victory

Chandler’s dedication to her craft earned her the 2022 ICCC-Pizza Hut Equal Slice Grant worth $20,000 CAD, which has allowed her to streamline her work processes and take her craft to the next level. Along with four other members of her cohort, she received the funding, which she has invested wisely in tools such as a specialized blanket to heat the honey to the perfect temperature for scooping without compromising its integrity. She is also planning to purchase a honey pump to streamline her process further and efficiently scale up her production. This is particularly important as she works towards completing her organic and kosher certifications, which the grant is also supporting.

While Tique’s journey into entrepreneurship was intentional, she did not expect the path to lead her to the honey industry. Something about her family story drew her back to her origins in the fields of Alberta. Today, she proudly labels each product with her maiden name, connecting her to her roots and sparking a sense of accountability for every item. She advises fellow business owners, “There’s always going to be challenges in a small business. It truly is a roller coaster that does not stop going up and down. It’s building you to be a more resilient person, like a boot camp for your soul. Every time something bad happens, don’t just treat it as a bad thing, but as an opportunity for learning, an opportunity to build resilience.” Chandler is proof that it is possible to turn passion into a successful business with determination and a commitment to excellence.


Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is a tuition-free executive leadership training program designed by ICIC to help business owners in under-resourced communities build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability, and employment. ICCC is uniquely designed to provide three critical elements for sustainable growth: capacity-building education, one-on-one coaching, and connections to capital and capital providers.

Learn more and apply by visiting icic.org/iccc.

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