HOW CHINOOK HONEY COMPANY CAME TO BEE
Chinook Honey Company started as a beekeeping hobby in 1995 with just two hives on a small acreage south of Calgary, Alberta. For Art Andrews the bees not only pollinated his garden but also provided stress relief from his full time job as an airline pilot. Assisted by his wife Cherie, the tiny apiary quickly expanded.
In 1999 they built a proper ‘Honey House’ in the midst of a nectar laden alfalfa field south of Okotoks, Alberta– a heaven for the bees, and room to store equipment and extract the honey crop. In June 2004 their enthusiasm for everything related to bees took another step when Cherie and Art opened a small retail store in their ‘Honey House’ after Cherie’s full time airline job was moved to Toronto.
The Chinook Honey ‘Farm’ was not merely a place to buy raw honey – it was also a learning centre. The heart of the store was and still is a live observation hive. Teaching about bees and the health benefits of their products has always been the core mission of this small apiary.
The store has expanded a few times since those days and now also includes Chinook Arch Meadery. After personally working with the Alberta Gaming and Licensing Commission, commercial sales of Mead (honey wine) were approved in 2006. Art had already been perfecting his mead recipes for many years so the opening of the Meadery in 2007 was a natural progression. Since then their list of meads has grown; they include unique styles such as Iced Mead and Bochet and they have won numerous national and international medals.
Since 2007 both Art and Cherie have both been working full time at their Chinook Honey Company ‘retirement’ jobs. Whether it’s beekeeping, hosting tour groups, bottling mead, working behind the till or in front of a computer, their passion shines through. By keeping the business small and personal every visitor can expect the best service, top quality honey products and a valuable learning experience. Come visit the most unique store in the Alberta foothills!