DAYTON - If you are looking for a unique venue with a historic, beautiful, rustic setting to host your next event, look no further than the Honey Bee Ranch Event Center.
The Honey Bee is the ideal locale for weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, anniversaries, family reunions, and many other exciting events. Graduation, prom, and family pictures are welcome as well.
The event center sits on 11 acres atop the Dayton hill on US 90. It offers a 3,000-squarefoot ballroom space and a large gazebo for receptions and other events.
The history of Honey Bee Ranch goes back to 1942, according to the “Pony Express” Newsletter published on August 16, 2011, and the Humble Farm Family article from July 1949, Issue 2 article titled “Sweetest Job in the World.”
It all started with a gentleman who had a hobby of learning all things about bees and decided to buy the land to build a honey-processing business. This gentleman’s name is A.W. Burlay. In 1942, the tract of land on the small Dayton hill was created as a combination home and headquarters for beehives. It all still exists! Driving down 90 toward Liberty, you can find the building on your righthand side.
Burlay’s purpose for building on the hill has excellent reasoning behind it. He had the bottling room downstairs from the extraction room above because the honey had a great gravity flow downward, which kept the honey clear. One of his best customers in Louisiana called, Hadacol, a cough syrup, would buy honey by the barrel.
In 2011, the property was then bought by Houstonians Gloria and her late husband, Paul Stiner.
Mr. Stiner’s sister, the realtor selling the land at the time, told him and their ten other siblings, “This would be great for family reunions and birthday parties, etc.”
The siblings were young at the time and decided this opportunity wasn’t their best option.
Fortunately, Paul and Gloria Stiner were retired and saw this as a fantastic opportunity for many of their visions.
When they bought the property, they decided to renovate it, which took two years.
Gloria’s sister-in-law, as a realtor, knew local carpenters and craftsmen and got them in touch to help with the renovations.
Paul was an electrical engineer and designed the plans for the building.
“He knew exactly what he wanted done. I often told him he should be an architect since he could always look at buildings and say they were two train wrecks waiting to happen due to all the cords going every which way,” said Gloria.
The beautiful couple was married for 38 years when Paul passed away on Labor Day in 2021.
When they first began their retirement, traveling was their hobby. Gloria stated they traveled to China, Australia, learned how to scuba dive, ski, and other fun adventures as Paul’s family was very athletic.
The Honey Bee Ranch Event Center started with them and just a few crews, but for the most part, the couple did everything themselves. Gloria retired as the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity for NASA. Before then, she worked at IBM for 23 years.
This was a learning experience from the beginning, as they are from Houston. They came not knowing the Dayton process and the things you must get through for businesses like this.
Their first wedding was a success, along with the rest, even during COVID-19.
The customers have also taught Gloria quite a bit about the different designs they have created for their events.
Gloria says she tells every customer that the event center is “a blank canvas, and you can make it as simple or elaborate as you like. It can be a princess fairytale.”
One of her favorite wedding stories was an event held one New Year’s Eve with a family from Baytown, TX.
They were a wonderful family with outgoing children who played throughout the building and danced on the dance floor. The family and Gloria herself knew the dangers of the holiday night, which resulted in getting hotel rooms in Dayton for their safety.
Gloria allowed them to return the next day for cleanup and things of the sort. The customers decided to go to Texas Kountry Kitchen for breakfast and Gloria joined, filling the restaurant.
After Mr. Stiner’s passing, Gloria wasn’t sure how long she wanted to continue with the event center, but she realized how lovely the events were and couldn’t imagine not keeping them going.
She also wanted to make the building available to everyone, not just those who could afford it.
She works with budgets and has a contract of dos and don’ts. Everything at the center is accessible to the customers. They also provide many things for the events, such as lists of vendors, coolers, white folding chairs, decorations, a large kitchen, and glasses. There are also no fees, everything is put in the price given, and she is very flexible.
She has so much help with different crews, such as the event planner, Tiffany Lewis and her Princess Event Planning crew. These decorators and planners work hard to make sure you receive your dreams. If you want to book with Tiffany, contact her at 832- 597- 0538 or princesseventplanning@ gmail.com.
Gloria also found a cleanup crew from the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and has interfaced with three people she believes may be interested in helping her with the job when she isn’t there.
Additionally, she will meet with the city manager of Dayton to understand the grant process to build a new sign, have automated gates installed, and replace fences around the property.
Even an already beautiful place needs improvement every now and then.
Gloria is still working on learning the web details, but she makes posts about every event on Facebook.
All pricing information is available on the website at honeybeerancheventcenter. com. You can also find available dates for your events on the Google Calendar to help with planning.
To contact Gloria Stiner, call 713-208-6222 or email honeybeerancheventcenter@ gmail.com.