HoneyFork Productions looks to find niche in locker making
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HoneyFork Productions looks to find niche in locker making

May 16, 2023


RANDOLPH – Not far from the Randolph Community Center is a relatively small metal building that houses would could be a game-changer for a pair of budding entrepreneurs.

The building houses a top-notch CNC router that Peyton Belk and Dillon Angle are hoping grows their portfolio of available products. Belk, 27, and Angle, 31, are second cousins and got together a couple of years ago to form HoneyFork Productions with the intent to make custom-built cabinets.

It was Belk's, father, Rob, who reached out to Angle in January 2020 to see if he could do anything with an older CNC router he had. Angle had experience in PLC (programmable logic control), machining and computers.

"It needed some TLC, and we got it up and running, pretty much redoing all the electronics and things," Angle said. "It was sort of the test bed to see what we could do."

A new CNC was purchased about a year later, Belk said, once they knew they could take the new router and do even more with it.

"We knew at that point, we knew we could produce on a more advanced production schedule," he said.

With Belk and Angle running HoneyFork Productions, they started making cabinets and doors for cabinets. But they felt like they were under-utilizing the CNC router.

"We wanted to see what we could do that nobody else around was doing," Angle said.

A conversation with Bill Russell at South Pontotoc High School led them to take trip earlier this month to the annual Mississippi Association of Coaches clinic in Flowood in early July. The four-day meeting brought together coaches and administrators from schools across the state. It was the perfect venue for HoneyFork to unveil its newest offering: lockers.

It's no big surprise that HoneyFork is branching out. Belk's family is in construction, and his dad designed and remodeled the locker room for the South Pontotoc girls' basketball team six years ago.

"We made the lockers back then, and we just forgot about it," Belk said. "But he approached us and said people were asking about the lockers and said we should get into it. That was kind of the break we needed to get into the locker business."

Belk took photos of the locker room, and he and Angle also built two prototype models to take to the MAC clinic.

"We were pretty anxious and nervous, not really sure if they would laugh us out of there," Angle said.

As it turns out, their fears were unfounded. They spoke to some 40 schools and even got commitments from a few.

"We felt more confident after that," Belk said.

Within a week after the convention, HoneyFork had three orders, including South Pontotoc football, Horn Lake basketball and Itawamba Agricultural High School.

"When we started, our mission statement was that metal lockers were a thing of the past – at least in our mind – and we know money is tight with schools, so we just wanted to put it out here we could produce a nice locker at an affordable price."

Eventually, HoneyFork would like to produce lockers for community colleges and colleges and universities. But they'll be concentrating on middle schools and high schools for now.

"We'll design and build lockers and locker rooms for country clubs and even homes, where a lot of them have mud room lockers," Belk said.

HoneyFork will stain the lockers if a school desires but would prefer to let the schools paint the lockers themselves, as they have better accessibility to the colors they use.

And while affordability is the selling point for HoneyFork, they can produce higher-end lockers as well. It all depends on the design and the materials that a customer might want.

The lockers are generally made from three-quarter inch birch, but hardwoods also are an option.

A locker starts at about $250.

The CNC router can be used to help build any design that Belk and Angle can create.

Currently as a two-man operation, it takes HoneyFork around 90 minutes to create a locker from start to finish.

"It's plenty of work for two people," Angle said. "It's all custom-designed, too."

HoneyFork also makes tables and cabinet doors, and Belk said they plan to get into CNC lathing later to make legs for high-end tables.

"Eventually we want to have a list on our website of everything we can make, with lockers as a niche," Belk said.

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