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Bees Brilliance

Matthew Cropp 2017

Sarah Wadsworth

Matthew's great-great-great grandmother

circa 1890

Sarah Wadsworth, the great-great- great grandmother of thirty-two year old Matthew Cropp would be delighted to see what he’s up to.   


Sarah kept bees in the 1890s, and her descendants have followed suit ever since.  In 2015 Philip Cropp, of Nelson Honey (we stock their Manuka Honey) wasn’t ready to retire, but his son Matthew and his wife Julene were ready for a challenge. They started a new company called Cropps NZ, which is taking Nelson Honey to a new range of health conscious customers. 

Buoyed by the Manuka honey boom, Nelson Honey forges ahead, while in parallel Matthew and Julene produce a growing range of skin care products based on their Manuka honey.  Bees Brilliance is their brand, and it would be difficult to imagine better presentation. 

Bees Brilliance appeared in overseas shops first.  Nelson Honey already had the contacts, but now they are in approximately 150 outlets in New Zealand, soon to be joined by Eyebright.

Manuka Honey has proven antibacterial qualities and all honey is beneficial for your skin.  The only problem is that it’s sticky and not readily absorbed.  That is where Bees Brilliance comes in.  Matthew spends endless hours working on the Bees Brilliance range.  Not only do the products contain Manuka Honey, but also hosts of botanics, such as Peony root, Gingko, Avocado, Evening Primrose, Jojoba, Kowhai and Chamomile. What they don’t contain is any synthetics.  The Bees Brilliance exfoliant cleanser was created using walnut shell and pumice, never micro-beads, even before micro-beads were identified as an environmental risk. 


Matthew is a lover of the natural environment and this is reflected in every aspect of the Bees Brilliance range.  As beautiful as the packaging is, it is created with the minimum possible environmental foot print.  Even the bronze Cropp ‘C’ which appears on the boxes was down-sized because it wasn’t biodegradable.

It is astonishing what Matthew and Julene have created in less than three years.  Matthew is quick to acknowledge that they wouldn’t be anywhere near as far ahead had he not been born to business and in particular the business of honey.  I think however there is a core competence which has enabled them to navigate to their present position.

Though a business needs to be profitable, it’s not profit that makes Matthew spring out of bed each morning.  Creating great products, and creating a great work environment are the things that excite him.  The Bees Brilliance manufacturing facility is impeccable and Matthew seems to be not at all fazed by the rigorous compliance entailed in running such a plant.  He understands the need for high standards and just gets on and exceeds them.

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