Where it all BEEgan…
When Sandy started having children 30 years ago, local food sourcing quickly became an obsession. Whenever she travelled, she visited local and farm to table restaurants and wished that Cincinnati had one. During nightly walks in her garden, she was mesmerized by the bees, tucked under leaves and dozing. She loved their hard-working, community-focused mindset, and their critical global role as pollinators.
Uniting these passion areas, Sandy partnered with renowned Chef Frances Kroner to create Sleepy Bee in 2013.
Sourcing from farms and suppliers nearby, they created a delicious, wholesome and satisfying menu. From the brand design and iconic flower chandeliers to the thoughtful creations served daily, every part of the restaurant experience was carefully curated to celebrate the sublime magic of bees.
They were quickly overwhelmed by the excitement and positive response the restaurant garnered. As its popularity grew, so did the number of restaurants across the area.
Today, Sleepy Bee is still locally-owned and a Cincinnati staple, with families and friends gathering daily to enjoy nourishing food in an environment that embraces the beauty of its community.
Welcome to our HIVE.
“We had a lot of people say there is no way this is going to work. But we knew what we ate at home, and we followed our hearts.”
– Sandra Gross
Co-founder & Creative Director
The Co-Founder and Creative Director of Sleepy Bee, Sandy is a passionate advocate for local food in Cincinnati. As an artist and educator, Sandy has always found inspiration in bees. She loved the way they supported themselves internally inside the hive and externally by pollinating plants and helping us all thrive. With each new location, Sandy enjoys connecting holistically with the neighborhoods Sleepy Bee serves. She loves being community driven like the bees in the hive.
Co-founder & Head Chef
Frannie is a proud Midwest Culinary School graduate with 22 years of restaurant experience. As the founding Chef of Sleepy Bee, Frannie spent the first few years fine tuning the recipes (sauce is her secret weapon of choice). The last few years she along with founding partner Sandra Gross and Emma Cotter, the Director of Operations and Sustainability, attained B-Corp status and developed HEXONOMICS, a model for holistic balanced business.
2015-2018: BEESness as Usual
Today & Future