It was humble beginnings and a moment of chance for the company that would later call itself Burt’s Bees, when Maine artist Roxanne Quimby was thumbing a ride home in 1984 and Burt Shavitz, a local man well known for his honey stand, pulled over to give her a lift.
The partnership that began when Roxanne started making candles out of the unused wax from Burt’s beehives, eventually grew to mega-proportions, moving from Maine to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and selling to Clorox for $925 million in 2007, according to Forbes.
Now, Burt is the feature of a documentary and he tells the real reason he left the company: He was ousted by Roxanne after he had an affair with an employee. He ended up with 37 acres of land in Maine and an undisclosed sum of money. And he’s not complaining either.
“In the long run, I got the land, and land is everything. Land is positively everything. And money is nothing really worth squabbling about. This is what puts people six feet under. You know, I don’t need it,” he told The Associated Press.
He also declined to discuss his relationship with Roxanne. “What I have in this situation is no regret. The bottom line is she’s got her world and I’ve got mine, and we let it go at that.”
The documentary, shot by director Jody Shapiro, gets Burt to open up about his dual life as a man living in Maine with rural ideals to a spokesman for Burt’s Bees who travels the world and is especially popular in Taiwan, according to Cleveland.com.
The documentary does not feature Roxanne and is limited on details about the relationship between Roxanne and Burt and the dissolution of their business partnership.
“Everyone associated with the company was treated fairly, and in some cases very generously, upon the sale of the company and my departure as CEO. And that, of course, includes Burt,” Roxanne said in an email to The Associated Press.
Image via Wikimedia Commons