The Minnesota Honey Company,
a store devoted to all things crafted from and with honey, opened in Minneapolis’s Fulton neighborhood this fall.
Previously the 1,500-square-foot space at 49th
and Xerxes housed a nail shop, according to Kelley Flanders, who co-owns the honey specialty place with his wife, Deborah.
The store has an eye-catching center island that’s set up as a tasting bar. Customers can sample just about any honey product, with a few exceptions -- like soap, Flanders says. Luckily, the modern storefront, which is characterized by white walls and plenty of natural light, didn’t require too much build-out, he adds.
The couple looked into various possible locations for the store. But Flanders says he's glad they landed in Fulton. Their business seems to complement other local shops, especially the nearby Vinaigrette
. The area is “good for foot traffic. It’s a destination spot,” especially for foodies, he says.
The Flanders' started out as beekeepers at Deborah’s parents’ honey farm. They’d also sold the farm’s products at the Minnesota State Fair. At the fair, customers are always asking about where to find honey products year-round, Flanders says.
That’s what made him want to get into the retail business on a bigger scale. “We’re giving it a shot to see if we can make it work,” Flanders says.
The Minnesota Honey Company offers honey, candles, soap, syrups, sauces, and more, for which honey is a key ingredient. “People forget how many things are made out of honey,” he says.
For starters, honey is a natural sweetener that can be used as a sugar substitute. As such, it’s popular for cooking and brewing craft beers, he adds.
The Minnesota Honey Company emphasizes local products. “We’ve been lucky,” Flanders says. “People seem to be liking what we’re doing.”
“There’s been a huge resurgence with honey,” he adds, which is contributing to the store's popularity. People are rediscovering honey, in part, because of the “crisis of the bees dying off." Minnesota is also a national leader in honey production, Flanders says.
Source: Kelley Flanders, co-owner, Minnesota Honey Company
Writer: Anna Pratt