by Jim Frederick, urbanjunglehoneybees.wordpress.com
The Honey Exchange held its grand opening on September 10th, when owners and beekeepers Phil and Meghan Gaven welcomed dozens of people into their shop on Stevens Avenue in Portland. The store, located in a bright yellow 1800s house in the historic Deering Center neighborhood, offers a unique blend of beekeeping supplies, honey and beeswax products, and bee-themed gifts. If it’s related to honeybees, these guys have it. Originally springing from Phil’s wish to have a place to extract his honey without making a sticky mess in his house, The Honey Exchange has grown into a testament to the fascination and appreciation of everything honeybee.
Opening-day guests, greeted by a stunning honeycomb mosaic in the entrance, found much more to do than just browse. They participated in a hands-on honey extraction process in the large commercial kitchen, with many people tasting raw honey for the first time. Kids loved watching the bustling observation hive in the room full of beekeeping supplies.
Another room housed a wide array of honey from near and far, much of the local honey labeled with the season, year and hive location. The tasting bar, showing-off the delicious diversity of honey, was very popular. Shoppers loaded up on popular beeswax candles, plus honey-based hand creams and facial scrubs, tea, books, toys, t-shirts, picture frames and a well-thought-out selection of mead, wine, beer and soft drinks. Women tried on beautiful bee- and honeycomb-inspired jewelry by local artists who were commissioned by Phil and Meghan. The food samples, including a wonderful honey bundt cake, went quickly. Judging by the opening-day reception, The Honey Exchange is off to a great start.
You can stop by Tuesday through Saturday; keep an eye out for their schedule of classes coming soon, or give them a call to arrange your honey extraction.