Chester family farm buys honey bee business from retiring owners

Ben Tolpa checks bees at Sweet Cheeks Farm. (Sweet Cheeks)

Sweet Cheeks Farm LLC, based in Chester, is growing its honey bee population with the acquisition of a family business whose owners are retiring, it announced this week.

Jean-Claude and Bea Tassot, owners of Tassot Apiaries Inc., are retiring after 20 years in business, so sold their bee yards in central and northern New Jersey to Sweet Cheeks Farm. Sweet Cheeks Farm, located on 16 acres in Morris County, is also a family business, it said in a news release, and owner Allison Tolpa’s son, Ben Tolpa, serves as its head beekeeper and makes many of the farm’s products.

Honey from Sweet Cheeks Farm and Apiary. (Sweet Cheeks)

“I am thrilled to have found such kindred spirits in the Tassots, who love their bees and providing all-natural products to the community like we do,” Tolpa said in a prepared statement. “We are fortunate they were looking to retire when we were looking to expand.”

Sweet Cheeks offers a variety of honey, specialty foods, organic eggs and more. Hunterdon County-based Tassot specializes in high-quality artisan honey and bee products. The deal includes Tassot’s beeswax candle business, Sweet Cheeks noted, with a transition to its own branding by the end of the year.

“We are thrilled to have found a great successor with a stellar reputation who will take care of our customers, and our bees, the way we did,” Jean-Claude Tassot said in a statement.

The farm business will now be known as Sweet Cheeks Farm and Apiary LLC, it said.

Tolpa added that the farm will be adding a brand-new market to supplement its farm stand, employing two more of her children, daughters Olivia and Mia Tolpa.