Father and daughter entrepreneurs are buzzing with national award win


A Suffolk-based pensioner who took a passion for beekeeping to a new level by creating the UK’s first raw honey-based sports fuel for runners, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts, has won a Lloyds Bank national business award, and mentoring from a renowned branding expert.

The family business, founded by Tony Rand, along with his daughter, Hannah Bolton, launched in December 2020 after Tony spotted a gap in the endurance sports market to provide athletes with a natural alternative to energy gels. The idea came from a chance conversation with Tony’s marathon-running son, Ed, who complained of the artificial taste and unwelcome side effects many runners and cyclists experience with conventional energy gels.

It took many months of research and planning before Tony was ready to meet with blending and packaging contractors, as he wanted to ensure a reliable supply line that would protect Buzz Power’s sustainable credentials. At the time meetings were due to go ahead, Covid-19 struck, and the national lockdown began.

Despite the disruption, Buzz Power pressed on with its plans and launched on social media channels to ‘test the waters’ and allow audience feedback to help shape the brand strategy. Hannah, an experienced online marketeer, devised and managed a successful organic brand awareness and sales campaign, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Since January, Buzz Power has created a ‘buzz’ online, with customers quickly catching on to the product’s natural ingredients, eco values, and fast, effective energy source. The customer base was first established in the UK but quickly spread across Europe, the United States and Australia. Today, Buzz Power is stocked by a growing network of independent sports retailers, and distribution enquiries have been received for several overseas territories.

Buzz Power has been named a winner in the Lloyds Bank Small Business of 2021 awards, which celebrates businesses across the UK. It was selected in recognition of how quickly it adapted to the challenges of the last year and brought a new product to the sports market in the most challenging of conditions.

Tony and Hannah have won a mentoring session with Kanya King, founder of the MOBO Group. Kanya will provide insight and support to help Buzz Power continue reaching new audiences and grow the business in the coming years.

Tony said: “I had been looking for opportunities to develop down-stream products derived from honey for some time. We spent over eighteen months researching the market, existing products and the suitability of honey as a better energy source. Buzz Power is the perfect fit for endurance sports – a balanced blend of fructose and glucose, kind to the digestive system and people love the taste. It comes with a blend of performance electrolytes and in a handy no-spill sachet.

“The lockdown caused a few problems, but we benefited from the boom in outdoor sports while people worked from home, continuing the strong growth trend over recent years. From marathons and ultra-runners, to long distance cycling and hiking, millions of people are pushing themselves athletically and looking for the best products to fuel their bodies. Buzz Power is unique, and we have many repeat customers.

“We launched Buzz Power during the pandemic but thanks to social media, sales have consistently exceeded our expectations. With increasing popularity of endurance sports and the emphasis on natural energy supplements, we look forward to continued growth across the world. We have big ideas for future product development and I still have time to look after my own honeybees, a source of endless fascination.”

Paul Gordon, managing director of SME and Mid Corporates at Lloyds Bank, said: “Buzz Power is a prime example of a small business that saw a gap in the market and used its entrepreneurial spirit to create an in-demand product.

“Despite the pandemic affecting the firm’s plans to sell products in-stores, it managed to capitalise on reaching customers on social media and create a real buzz with its audience. Tony and Hannah have well and truly earned this award.”

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