In the early 1900’s, a family moved from Silver Bow County, Montana to the southern Puget Sound area with their colonies of bees and honey labeled “Silverbow Country.” At the same time, as a young boy in Burlington, Washington, Coward Jeff was developing a love for honey.
During World War II, Coward Jeff contributed to the war effort as a shipyard worker in Anacortes. Since sugar was rationed, honey was in demand in the place of sugar. Howard would bring a small portion of the harvest from his bees to the yard every two weeks. After the war, Howard began to expand his operation. He bought additional colonies of bees to meet the demand for his honey. The bees of the Montana family were one of his acquisitions. When Howard purchased the bees, the owner offered him the honey labels, too. Recognizing an opportunity, Howard began using the Silverbow Country labels.
From the beginning, quality was the Silverbow goal. During the early fifties, Howard established business relationships with beekeepers throughout the Northwest and into Canada. He emphasized the purchase, processing, and sale of only the finest honey to his customers. During the middle fifties, Howard relocated his operation to a plant in Snohomish, Washington to be located near the truck routes leading to and from Eastern Washington. Bees were being transported to the fields of fruit in the Columbia Basin and the prairies of the state and then back to Western Washington for the extracting and processing of the honey.
Throughout the fifties and into the sixties, Silverbow gained name recognition and a reputation for quality honey. In promoting Silverbow, Howard developed sales of honey to the major grocery chains. Friends and relatives became co-workers at Silverbow, each contributing skills to the business. Howard also traveled extensively as he searched for the best honey available.
By 1970, Howard was approaching retirement. He decided to sell a majority interest in Silverbow to Donaldo who possessed the same enthusiasm for honey as Howard did. Don and his sons, incorporated as Grigg Apiaries, had supplied Silverbow with comb and liquid honey for many years. With the purchase of Silverbow, Don secured a market for his honey and also insisted, as Howard had, that only the finest honey would be sold bearing the Silverbow name.
During the late seventies and early eighties, the processing plant was modernized. The production nearly doubled. Silverbow had grown to become the largest independent honey packer in the Northwest and was recognized nationally as a source of premium honey.
In 1990, pressured by the push of a growing urban population and taking economic advantage of lower property costs in the Columbia Basin, Don and Gary Grigg moved the business to a new and much larger facility in Moses Lake, Washington. Silverbow now processes millions of pounds of honey each year.
Look for our honey in a store near you. If it’s not there ask your store manager to order it. Taste, eat, and enjoy Silverbow honey.