Meet the Person Behind the Brand: Mikaila Ulmer, Founder and CEO, Me & the Bees Lemonade
A Series Connecting You to the Entrepreneurs in “Put Me On”
In 2021, Gopuff launched “Put Me On,” a small business accelerator program designed to help underrepresented entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The first group of participants included entrepreneurs in the beauty, home essentials, and food and beverage categories, including Mikaila Ulmer, Founder and CEO of Me & the Bees Lemonade.
Me & the Bees Lemonade was founded by Mikaila when she was just four years old selling lemonade at a stand in front of her Austin, Texas home. The company’s mission has always been to inspire communities to take action—through the purchase of its products—to help secure the food supply by saving the bees. “Buy a Bottle. Save a Bee.”
The shelf stable, all-natural lemonades contain no high-fructose corn syrup, no preservatives or additives, and are made with premium ingredients including U.S. Grade-A honey, real lemon juice, and flaxseed, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Read on to learn about Mikaila.
Tell us about the story of your brand. How did the company come to be?
When I was just four years old, I was stung by two bees in one week. My parents encouraged me to learn more about bees instead of simply being terrified of them (which I was!). Upon discovering the important role that bees play in our ecosystem, I was determined to help them. Around that same time, I was also inspired by my Great Granny Helen’s flaxseed honey lemonade recipe to set up a lemonade stand. Shortly thereafter, I joined a children’s business fair with my lemonade as my product to sell, and things took off from there.
What is your company mission and where do you want to see the company in five years?
Me & the Bees Lemonade’s mission is to help save the bees, which contributes to a better ecosystem and better planet. We donate a portion of the profits from every bottle sold to fulfill this mission. In five years, I’d love for the brand to be officially known as “America’s Favorite Lemonade” and as a purpose-based brand that has really made a difference in protecting bee populations globally through our Healthy Hive Foundation.
I also have a passion for helping inspire the next generation of changemakers to encourage social entrepreneurship.
What is one piece of advice you would give to other entrepreneurs and why?
The importance of dreaming like a kid. Ditch the obstacle mindset and use the growth mindset. I think the easiest way to start is by seeing our own progress. We can do this by setting goals that have lots of potential yet attainable checkpoints. Also, consider the voices of kids; We have great ideas and are huge trendsetters, especially when it comes to snacking.
What is something you wish you knew about business, entrepreneurship, or leadership when you were first starting your company and why?
I wish I learned earlier that everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn, no matter who you are. I used to feel nervous to host my workshops about bees, especially with kids that were older than me. It took me a while to realize that there were things about my passion that they may not know. Knowing this not only gives me confidence when talking about a topic I’m proficient in, but it also helps in making a team where everyone’s voice is heard.
What are your favorite snacks?
I’m a huge fan of seaweed, veggies and hummus, Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop, and Pocky.
- put me on