A bee dreams ~ Story of Tami Mizutani

A New World of Bees blooming due to the sensibility of a woman

Tami Mizutani (third generation) started the retail business by adopting a fresh original idea of bottling honey. She expanded the business by introducing new ideas one after another, and the people started to call her in her nickname the “Queen Bee”.
During the time of Tami Mizutani’s third generation the business of Mizutani Bee Farm reached a threshold.  After the postwar reconstruction and the period of high economic growth, people started to pursue their dreams and prosperities.  Tami Mizutani was acutely aware of what’s going on in the world and cast her new ideas into shape, which were publicized in the media like TV, newspapers and magazines.  It increased the awareness of the greatness of honey and it expanded the new possibility of the bee keeping.

Sales of bottled honeyMizutani brand was born

Package design by a top designer (Akito Okubo) at that time A label design inspired by the famous sweets ‘Shougatou’ in Ise. A cute package also took the honey industry by storm.

Advertising literature of Mizutani brand whose concept is “refined flavor of flower” in 1981.

Third generation Tami Mizutani launched the new attempt to bottle honey in 1957. At this time honey was not recognized as food, and only a little amount was used instead of medicine. Tami negotiated with the Japan National Railway (current JR)and got the permission to sell honey in their General Merchandise Division where all employees and their families bought their daily commodities. By this Mizutani Brand Honey was displayed in the General Merchandise Divisions of the Japan National Railway all over Japan. Tami visited the shops almost every day and made the sales demonstration explaining the tastiness of honey, nutritional value, how to enjoy honey etc and tried to broaden it’s appeal among the people. In doing so Mizutani Bee Farm became successful in the new retail business.

First time in Japan started to sell honey according to the flower types

Advertising literature in the industry newspaper in 1963. Selling “honey with lemon”, which was a new concept at that time.

Tami advertising and selling honey at a department store. She became an idol with her nickname “Queenbee”.

Apple and honey recipe from Vermont, USA became very popular in Japan as a secret of longevity and this made honey a big boom in Japan.

In 1958 The Kintetsu Department Store started to sell Mizutani Brand honey and since then the Mizutani name gradually penetrated into people’s minds. However, Tami wasn’t satisfied only with the bottled honey, and she made a new suggestion to sell honey by flower types. Through the know-how accumulated during long experience of the moving apiary she took particular note that the bees have tendency to collect honey from the same flower. Astragalus, Alpine flora, Japanese orange flower etc – depending on flowers honey has different taste and flavor. This dream inspiring fact got people’s interests. As the pioneer in the sales of honey depending on the flower in Japan the Mizutani name also attracted the public attention.

Novel designed Packaging and advertisement and TV appearances made a big impact

Honey with rose petals- an idea generated by sensibility special to women- became a big hit.

Noted the moisture retaining property of honey and started to sell “Kiss Honey”.

Self-standing bottle in a French style packaging

In 1976 Tami made an appearance at a TV show of Yomiuri TV “Wide Show at 2 o’clock” and taught how to make use of honey. So many calls of enquiry came through and it caused the overcapacity of the switch board of Matsuzaka Telephone company. Since then her appearances have continued for more than 50 years.

Tami’s unique ideas are not only about the merchandising development but also about the packaging and advertisement. She ordered the packaging designs to top graphic designers and prepared very fancy and romantic advertisements etc. and she always went ahead of time using her very flexible thinking which is special to woman. In 1975 she set up Mizutani Bee Farm Corporation and became the president. In those days female presidents were very rare and so she was interviewed by many media. She appeared on Yomiuri TV programs like “Wide Show at 2 o’clock” and “Japanese Female Presidents”. In no time she became the person in the limelight and contributed greatly to the awareness building activities of honey.

Opened “Matsujiro-no-ho” as an Antenna Shop

In 2000 opened a shop “Matsujiro-no-ho” which carries the name of the founder.

In 2000 Tami opened a directly managed shop “Matsujiro-no-ho” in Matsuzaka City, Mie Prefecture as an antenna shop of honey, which was Tami’s long awaited dream, selling new items such as honey candies and “Monaka Ice cream” etc. Among these “Monaka Ice cream” became a big hit. This is the reproduction of the ice cream her mother made for her in her childhood. She also designed the display to show the honey comb. She was impressed by the joy of people who saw this. Since then she devoted herself to the local activities and events and made a social contribution as a company.