Honey is one of the few things I eat every day. Whether it be in morning tea or with yogurt, I love trying different varieties to see how they bloom on the palette. So imagine my delight when I discovered Follow The Honey in Cambridge-a destination dedicated to “bringing the finest of transparency of source honeys and bee inspired offerings to you and your sweet ones.” As you approach Follow The Honey, the store positively glows from all the golden nectar you’ll find inside.
The beautiful graphics, designed by the owner’s daughter, set the tone for what is to follow. As you step inside the brownstone, you are greeted by a well edited collection celebrating all things buzzing with beedom. The welcoming space is filled with repurposed furnishings and combines high tech flat screens showing educational videos with an eco-chic charm. In addition to featuring raw and organic honeys, there are honey based skin care products from local makers, books, jewelry, silk scarves, aprons, and of course bees wax candles. If you’re lucky enough to meet the queen bee, Mary Canning, her infectious love of the business will have you buzzing in no time.
Mary Canning came up with the idea for Follow the Honey after a particularly difficult time in her life. She lost her first husband to metastasized bone cancer. That event instilled a deep appreciation for the beauty of everyday life. Getting involved with apiculture-a tradition historically revered for its regenerative and restorative characteristics, seemed like a natural pairing when she met with a family friend who happened to be a beekeeper. Says Canning, “One could benefit from the life-giving propensities of what they represent, as well as the very real medicinal and therapeutic benefits of honey.”
You can’t have a honey pot of a store without a hive-right? BEST BEES founder, Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich, rescued a hive clinging to a limb on Mass Ave and has installed it in a museum grade observation frame to observe the insects in action.
Having done batik for many years, beeswax is an aroma that makes me swoon. The many candles and soaps can be the perfect lingering scent of sweetness in our all too busy lives.
Of course I’ve saved the best for last. The raw honey bar will take you around the world with a tasting of the best the bees have to offer. Edible nectars can range from Yemen and Cameroon to the Himalayas. I happened upon one from Scotland that still has me wandering amongst the heather. And don’t miss the grocer’s tank of fill your own glass bottle, usually loaded with honey from a local beekeeper. On the weekend they carry Iggy’s bread, the perfect vehicle to slather your honey and cheese.
Canning has brought to Cambridge so much more than a store. She hosts gatherings and concerts and has run skype visits with beekeepers on the other side of the globe. The bee culture she has developed is just scratching the surface, and I’m sure she is swarming with ideas for the future. Catch the buzz, and you’ll never look at bees the same way. Visit at 1132 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, Ma. 617-686-1469.