HONEY STORE TO SET UP SHOP IN SQUIRREL HILL
Pittsburgh Honey will open its doors Friday, September 1st
PITTSBURGH, PA, August 16th, 2017 – September is National Honey Month, and there’s no sweeter way to celebrate than by planning a visit to Pittsburgh Honey, a brand new retail store opening up in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Just a stone’s throw away from the intersection of Forward and Murray Avenues, the store will be the only one of its kind in the city.
“We’re the retail end of The Fine Family Apiary,” says Alyssa Fine, the store’s proprietor, and creator of Abeille Beauté, one of the store’s featured brands. “We are Allegheny County’s largest apiary and one of the few purveyors of truly pure and local honey. We wanted to open a store to ensure consumers had a choice. Many other stores don’t carry truly local honey, and often what they do have is mislabeled, adulterated with fillers like corn syrup, or worse. We’re the real deal.”
Guests might be drawn in like moths- er bees- by the neon honeycomb sign in the window, or by the beekeeper suit-clad mannequin posed in the front of the store as she tends to a real live observation hive, but once inside, they’ll be pleasantly surprised by what they find.
Fine says that inside industrial corrugated metal facade, the shop is warm and welcoming, with a variety of educational materials and displays to complement the varied selection of local honeys, beeswax skincare products and cosmetics, a honey stick bar, gift packs, and other honey bee themed items.
“We wanted this space to marry the old with the new- a sort of blend of antiquated and modern,” she explains. “Look closely here at the displays- they’re battered old hive boxes that have been upcycled to hold products.”
Alyssa father, Al Fine of the The Fine Family Apiary, has been keeping bees for his entire adult like, managing nearly 200 hives during peak season. He’s the largest apiary in Allegheny County. His honey crops, and the beeswax he collects as a byproduct, are the driving force behind Pittsburgh Honey and Abeille Beauté, its natural cosmetics brand. Wait, honey is one thing, but did you say natural cosmetics?
“I handcraft a variety of products using premium beeswax and honey from our bees,” says Alyssa. “ Abeille Beauté means ‘honey bee beauty’ in French. Each product is meant to make you feel beautiful without overwhelming you. Less is definitely more.”
You’ll find her specialty, a decadent Whipped Lip Balm, on the vintage vanity, with a large lighted mirror so you can sample the various colors and flavors until you find your perfect shade. Maybe you’ re more interested in a rich moisturizing lotion. They’ve got Body Butter in lavender, lemongrass, and even a more unisex MAN:Hands scent all on display. Even a natural alternative to traditional antibiotic ointments can be found on the shelves in the form of their Manuka Honey Salve.
Whether it’s a freshly poured bottle of Spring Bloom honey- it’s the most recent extraction- or a sampling of skincare products, Pittsburgh Honey has something for everyone.
They’re even preparing for the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday.
“We plan to have a selection of locally grown apples- pollinated by our bees- available alongside our Kosher honey,” say Fine.
Although Alyssa has dreamed about opening the doors to Pittsburgh Honey since she was a child helping her father then manually extract honey, it wasn’t until she served as the 2011 Pennsylvania Honey Queen and then 2012 American Honey Queen that things really crystallized. She says her reign as a spokesperson and educator for the honey industry has definitely prepared her for her new role.
“Just don’t be surprised if I point to myself when you ask to see the queen bee!” she says with a laugh.
Pittsburgh Honey is located at 2327 Murray Avenue, just next door to Shaare Torah Congregation and a few steps from GetGo and Starbucks. Join them on Thursday, August 31st for a sneak preview night open house to see the live bees in the observation hive. Leena Foods will be present and serving up Lebanese fare in their food truck, too.
Daily house, schedule of events, available products, and more can be found at www.PittsburghHoney.com.