If you would have asked me a few years back if I would ever be in the honey business or work with bees, I would have laughed. I spent 20 years in the Engineering profession designing and implementing wireless communications and control systems for the mass transit industry both domestically and internationally.
While doing my MBA, I met the future founder and my future business partner in Honeybee Centre. I decided to make the leap and joined Honeybee Centre full time when we were still in a trailer and had not yet opened our first retail store.
The next decade was spent building the business to what it is today, a quality producer of local specialty honeys and bee pollen, providing honeybee pollination services to local berry growers, and as an iconic visitor attraction.
To learn about honeybees and beekeeping, I started with our comprehensive beekeeping course, followed by keeping 2 honeybee hives in my back yard in the city, and increasing my knowledge by completing the Bee Masters program at Simon Fraser University.
Hives in My Back Yard
Our backyard hives were inspiring for me, always a source of conversation with friends and neighbours, and produced an average of over 300 pounds of delicious honey every year. Great gifts for family and friends!
My daughter was interested in our bees from a young age and grew up with no fear. She was insistent on having a “bee beard” and when she got her first one at age nine, she complained bitterly that we did not put enough bees on her.
Fast forward 2 years and she got her wish for more bees. This iconic picture that you may have seen on the internet, is Tyana with her full bee beard as demonstrated at our Honeybee Festival.
What Drives Us
Our passion is bringing the health benefits of honey and natural honeybee health products to our customers, through education and great natural honeybee products of known origin. Main Street Honey Shoppe is a natural outgrowth of Honeybee Centre to bring Healthy Honeybee products “From the Honey Farm to the City”.
We bring a large variety of high quality honey and natural honeybee products to our customers. We source products wherever possible from producers we know, local when available, international when necessary. We gather the latest health information and train our staff so that our customers receive friendly knowledgeable service, and the best variety of high quality products.
We currently serve our customers from our Main Street Honey Shoppe in Vancouver, and at a number of local festivals, events, and farmers markets.
Adapting to the City
Initially, we brought all of our local products from Honeybee Centre to the City. This was great, but our new customers wanted more. They asked for specialty honeys that they were familiar with from other parts of the world. So we started bringing in a number of specialty honeys from well known honey producing areas including France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and New Zealand.
Many customers asked for “local” Vancouver honey (rather than honey from the Fraser Valley just 20 km away). Others asked to be able to refill their containers in order to reduce packaging waste. So we started our “Bees in the City” program, where we brought our bees into Vancouver to produce “Urban Honey” and to help pollinate local parks and gardens. To satisfy the re-use of containers, we purchased a stainless steel water-jacketed honey tank so we can now refill our customer’s honey containers with one of our “Honeys on Tap”.
Our social initiatives are very local in nature. We like to support local fundraisers for schools and youth groups. We also support projects like the local food network and other community oriented groups.