Client Interview: Scott Delk of Happy Seed Edibles in Santa Cruz
Date Posted: 12/23/2015 | By:
Recently, we got to catch up with one of our favorite guys in Santa Cruz, Scott Delk, owner of Happy Seed Edibles. His honey and baked goods have been a huge hit with the Santa Cruz community and we thought everyone should get to know him with a interview on the blog. Enjoy!
Us: What do you do at Happy Seed Edibles?
Scott: I am the founder of Happy Seed.
I’m actually a second-generation beekeeper. My father’s been in the beekeeping industry since I was a kid. I remember him getting into it here in California when I was 4 or 5. We moved to Oklahoma, but I would visit him in California and help him work the bees.
So that’s where Happy Seed got started. I took some hives and brought them into the Santa Cruz Mountains. And I made some of my own Santa Cruz Mountain honey. And because of my own love for cannabis, I just mixed the two together for myself. Then I started giving it out to my buddies. Everyone liked it and I had a small following here in Santa Cruz. So they said – you should get it into the clubs. I didn’t really know what that meant because I had come from Minnesota at that time. But eventually I got in with a club [a medical marijuana collective] and we put our honey in there. And that’s how it all started.
That was in 2013. I had come to Santa Cruz looking to be a head chef, and I switched from that career to producing medicated honey.
Us: Can you talk about the transition from honey to Happy Seed generally?
Scott: Honestly, what happened is some collectives already had honey or had had it in the past and didn’t do well. So they were interested but asked us if we could make something else too. So we started thinking: shoot, what else could we do? To be honest with you, it was right around the time that Hostess had shut down. They closed their business and stopped making Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes and all that. Did you know about that?
Us: I had no idea.
Scott: It was a pretty big deal for the cult following in the Twinkie world. [laughs]. So we were like: let’s fill that gap. And that kind of started the idea for Dankies, and those really caught on for us. We named the company Happy Seed Edibles, and we carry Dankies and honey. And we do some other things as well – hard candies and gummies that both do really well.
Scott: Honey is what we’re known for. Natural – straight-from-the-hive honey. We definitely have a big market in that. And then, the Dankies are pretty popular too. Those two are the big ones, for us.
Us: What got you interested in the business?
Scott: It wasn’t something I was looking to do. But I love to cook and I love the bees. The industry was looking for these kinds of products and I was able to make them…I wrote the recipes and people liked them, so it became kind of hard not to do it. The demand was high for them. And our following kind of grew to bigger than we could keep up, so we had to start a business.
Us: That sounds like a really natural way to get into the business.
Scott: Yeah it was! I worked hard to become a chef, you know, because I was just a line cook. And I worked my way up in a lot of restaurants in the twin cities in Minnesota. And I took that experience here to Santa Cruz and I was going to find work in the same industry. And that’s what I did, so to leave that and start my own business was a big jump for me. But, I’ve loved cannabis since I was young – it helps me with anxiety and helps me sleep. So it’s always been a part of my life. And the honey as well – so it just seemed natural. They’re both quite medicinal in a way.
Us: Tell me a bit about the active ingredients.
Scott: We have one or two sources in Humbolt County. They’re second-generation farmers as well. We’re involved in the harvest up there. That’s where we get our medicine to make what we make down here in Santa Cruz. We try bridge the gap between Santa Cruz and Humbolt County. We we’re proud of that. It’s kind of a family thing, and that’s how we want to keep it.
Humbolt is a real strong community. The atmosphere for growing is excellent. It’s a pretty special place. You go up there and then, if you can believe, it’s bittersweet coming back to Santa Cruz. It’s pretty much one-on-one with nature.
Us: Is there one farm that you work with?
Scott: Through the family we have a couple of different farms, but it’s always with people that we’re close with. So we always know what’s going into the crop. And more importantly, we know what’s not going into it.
Scott: No pesticides. No bad storage practices. If you don’t know the people, it could be sitting in garbage bags for a year or more even. If you don’t know your sources then who knows what’s happening with the crop. But we’re super lucky because we’re involved with the whole process and see it all and keep close to the people up there.
Us: How did you find Leapin’ Lizard Labels?
Scott: We found them through a friend here. He put us in touch. I needed labels. I actually didn’t realize that they were in Colorado at the beginning. We use them for our honey labels.
Us: How has it been?
Scott: We love Leapin’ Lizard. They hardly ever make a mistake. And if they do, they make it right. Because you know how it is: by the time you order something, you’re maybe already too late and you need it, like, yesterday. So, they’re very understanding, and accommodating when I need something quickly. Very personable. They give you a call if they have a question. We do a lot of business with them.
Us: Can you tell us a bit about the people who use your products and how it has helped them?
Scott: Yeah, there are so many stories! Our honey is the big one. For example, I have a guy right now who recently came into our lives. He has MS. And I guess he was a pretty good basketball player back in his day, shined pretty bright, and then developed MS pretty recently. And he’s starting to recover, as much has he can, and he found that all the medicines that he is prescribed to take has only really made certain things worse. So he found our honey in the collective, he’s been using it for the last 6 months for so. I didn’t know him at the time but he’s a family friend, and he says that it has relieved his spasticity – that thing where his body will kind of take off without him. Especially the CBD [CBD is a variety of hemp with lower amount of THC] honey has reduced that dramatically for him. He just told us: all I know is that it’s not as bad as it was before I had the honey and when I was on all these prescription drugs. He wrote me a really nice letter, really sweet. He’s just really very thankful that he found us because it’s helped him so much. When I hear that kind of stuff it just makes me even more of a believer.