There are stores devoted solely to coffee—and chocolate, spices, and olive oil. Now, Naples has Grand Central Honey, an establishment dedicated to all things bee-related in one sweet spot. Owner Cindy McCartney stocks a wide range of honeys, from local varieties to some from as far away as Australia. These aren’t your supermarket varieties; these are pure, just the way the bees produced them.
It was sweet serendipity that drew McCartney into her new venture, which held its grand opening in mid-February. “A friend asked me to help him market his honey,” McCartney says. “I thought it would be very hard to open a store with just one kind of honey, so I started to do research. I got sucked into the world of honey.” It occurred to her that a store filled with all kinds of honeys would not only help her friend but also would introduce customers to lots of varieties and the products made from them.
Grand Central Honey, located at 4444 Tamiami Trail North, features pure honeys as well as infused varieties. Think: lavender, coffee, and rum, as well as honey-based sauces, candies, and mead.
For those who like to wear rather than ingest it, there are skin-care products, bee-themed jewelry, and doggy duds. There are also beeswax candles and wraps. Buzz on over to the Bee Bar with whatever type of honey you want to taste, and McCartney will make a tester of it. Special events include honey tastings, partnerships with restaurants for honey-based charcuterie meals, visits by beekeepers to share their knowledge about bees, and more.
She’s also included a socially conscious bonus: The shop has partnered with Savannah Bee Company, carrying their products and donating to their “Bee Cause,” a nonprofit that engages students by setting up observation beehives at schools across the country.
“A lot of people expected a little rustic farmers market feel,” she explains. “I have some rustic fixtures, but it has a very cool vibe that people like. They are also returning for the Savannah Bee products, the artisanal honeys, and the infused teas.”