Fain's Honey was established in 1926 by H.E. Fain. Having been raised on a farm near Killeen, Texas, he as many other in that area, began his life as a farmer. In 1926 a very young H.E. Fain worked on the farm all year, and after the crops were gathered and sold, he ended the year with a net profit of only $130. During that year, he had accumulated around 10 hives of bees to which he had paid little attention up to this point.
Desperate, he robbed the bees late that summer and sold the honey on the Gatesville, Texas town square. Surprisingly, he ended up making close to $200 from the honey sales. He had no labels to put on the honey jars, and the jars themselves were just old fruit jars. However, the honey was top quality and there was an abundance of it that year. Luckily, conditions had been just right for an unusually large crop of honey. H.E. was meticulous concerning the quality, cleanliness, and appearance of his honey. His reputation was now established as a supplier of top quality honey.
Beekeeping appeared to be much less frustrating and certainly more lucrative than farming, so Fain quit farming and began cutting bee trees, collecting both the honey and the bees. For nine years he continued with beekeeping, increasing his number of colonies to 175. He was a novice in the beginning, but he emerged from this experience a wise and seasoned beekeeper. By this time the depression was in full swing, but H.E. managed to keep his family fed while many others in the area struggled. Sugar was expensive and a luxury that most families could not afford; therefore, there was a ready market for honey.
For several years Mr. Fain had heard of a beekeeper's paradise in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. There were stories of honey production 11 months out of the year, enormous hive averages for honey production, balmy weather, and tales of exotic orange blossom honey. The lure was
irresistible, so in 1935 Fain moved his family and honey operation (consisting of 175 hives of bees) to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. This arduous journey fraught with the perils of the depression was compounded by the necessity of multiple trips in order to move all the hives and equipment.
The rumors and stories were true. It was a beekeeper's paradise ...at least for a few years. During these good years Fain was able to build up his number of colonies to around 1500 all the while producing huge amounts of honey. Times were good and prospects for the future looked bright. However, good things usually don't last indefinitely, and so it was with beekeepers in the Rio Grande valley.
Brush clearing and cotton poisoning entered the picture. Production fell off, many colonies of bees were completely wiped out, and the number of producing hives dwindled as rapidly as they had been built up. H.E. battled this problem for a number of years with the help of his two older sons, Earl and Tom. The main solution was to move the hives to locations in the Valley where there was no use of pesticides. In the end, there was no place left to move. Eventually, H.E. was forced to relocate to the Texas Hill Country in 1951, moving only around 300 hives. Again, Mr. Fain had done his research.
The Llano area was very good for honey production. One plant in that area was of special interest--- white brush (called bee brush by the locals). It produces tiny white, incredibly sweet smelling flowers after each rain. The honey it produces is considered by many to be the most delicious honey of all, tasting just like the flowers smell.
Unfortunately the 50's drought was in full swing by this time, and the number of hives dropped to 150. By the mid 50's the drought was over and honey production was up again. Steadily, over the years the number of colonies was increased to around 900. Again, the rumors had been true. The bees made large quantities of honey and the quality even surpassed that of the honey back in the Valley.
Mr. H.E. Fain passed away in 1968, and Dewey Fain, the youngest of four sons, who had been working with him all his life, took over. Over the years since Dewey owned Fain's Honey his wife, Erwinna, helped with many aspects of the business as well as their three children, Kristi, Kevin, and Keith.
As of April 2005, Dewey's youngest son, Keith acquired the business from his dad and has expanded the product line even further to include a wider variety of honey spreads, ribbon cane syrup, and sorghum molasses. Keith is the 3rd generation Fain to own Fain's Honey.
Case Parker Thurman was born on January 26th, 2013, the newest addition to the family and 5th Generation "Fain"
In 2014 Fain's Honey will be used in a new craft beer Robert Earl Keen Honey Pils. This new craft beer will hit stores in mid october of 2014.