Joyce Dales, founder of Cold Bee Gone. Courtesy photos.
An entrepreneur looking for a natural remedy to protect the compromised immune system of her daughter has caught the attention of the Boston Red Sox as well as national retailers. And sales of her honey-based homeopathic nasal swab for colds—Cold Bee Gone—are beginning to surge.
Last year, Buzzagogo in Nottingham, maker of Cold Bee Gone, posted annual sales of $54,000. But after several Red Sox players started using it, CVS took notice and placed it in thousands of stores. Company founder and inventor Joyce Dales says she is on track to hit sales of $600,000 for 2019. She has also been invited to the Walmart Open Call, where companies can meet with buyers, which she hopes will result in getting her items in Walmart stores.
Dales’s journey was spurred by a series of medical emergencies. The first was when her father was dying of a chronic disease and his immune system was compromised. “The sniffles could endanger him,” Dales says.
Then, after several surgeries, doctors notified Dales that her husband had MRSA, bacteria that are antibiotic resistant. She says the treatments available included alcohol, but that could damage the nasal passages, worsening the situation.
The final straw was when Dales and her husband adopted their daughter from Vietnam in 2008. During the adoption process, their daughter was treated for a heart defect caused by Agent Orange, and she required emergency open heart surgery at eight months old, Dales says. While the surgery was successful, it left her with a fragile immune system. Dales says she went into “momma bear” mode, looking for ways to protect her. And, like any bear, she eventually turned to honey. Her research into colds and how germs spread led her to discover that 95 percent of colds and flus start in the nasal passages, passing their “codes” to the body’s cells, which then replicate the virus, she says.
Obsessed with honey and honeybees for years, Dales describes herself as a “honeybee nerd.” So she married her honey knowledge with that of her new research, developing her own cold remedy that included raw active Manuka honey, which fights bacteria, and essential oils. “With my dad, I lived in fear” of him becoming sick, Dales says, and she was determined not to go through that with her daughter. After two years of trial and error and many kitchen experiments, Dales developed a nasal swab to “help your body fight cold and flu.” She asked friends and family to try it. “I got amazing feedback. My husband said, ‘Why not make this a thing? Let’s find out about selling it’,” Dales says.
So far, Dales has invested $60,000 and just secured a $60,000 investment from the angel investors at Impact NH Fund.“I’m working on several products now and trying to build more skews,” she says.
For more information, visit coldbeegone.com.