Made in Arizona: Rango Honey makes sweet treats to help kids with autism, other disabilities

It's tasty, natural, locally-made - it's Rango Honey.

The honey is made in Tempe, Arizona, and operations manager Heather Blackford says it's 100% natural.

"We have our clover alfalfal…most people will resonate with that variety because 80% of U.S. honey is clover or alfalfa," said Blackford.

There's also orange blossom, desert bloom and mesquite honey.

"Each varietal has a different flavor and aspect to it," she said.

It's taken right from the beehives, then stirred and heated.

"We do not heat our honey any more than 109 degrees," Blackford said. "We do not want to pasteurize it. We want to maintain all the health benefits."

Rango Honey also sells honeycomb - but what makes them even sweeter is their mission.

The owners' son, Sam, has autism, so they created a program where young people with disabilities can learn new skills as well as a group home called Neshama. It provides 24/7 assisted living for Sam and other autistic young adults.

"We are providing job training for them, and that is really our whole mission here," Blackford said. "Not only offering a premium product…but also working with the community."

FOX 10 first checked in with Rango Honey in 2019, when Neshama was just getting started. Since then. they've started working with autistic students from the Scottsdale Unified School District.

"We have one group of students here working on producing our honeycomb," Blackford said. "I really feel like…there is always an ability. Whether it be labeling the product - we have a front label, a back label, a tamper label - they help us with that. We have a date code on the bottom. They help us with that."

100% of the proceeds from Rango Honey help young adults with autism or other disabilities. One can find their products in Basha's, Sprouts and Target stores. They also ship nationwide.

"Not only are they getting life skills, social skills and learning different ways of interacting with people, but they're also earing job credits from schools so it helps them graduate," Blackford explained.

It's a sweet treat, made sweeter by everything it stands for.

"It doesn't just stop at autism, because there's a variety of different disabilities or abilities that our children are met with," Blackford said. "It's so important for us to be able to make that all work.

"It's yummy," she continued. "All the customers that come in, they love our honey and they love our product. They love our mission, they love everything that we stand for and we just love working with them."

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