Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.
Anthony Habert recently opened the first honey shop in Salisbury. Honeycombers, located within Fisherton Mill, his first retail endeavour.
“I spent 25 years in the wines and spirits trade,” said Anthony.
“ I lost my job during the pandemic as the head of beverage for a company that supplied spirits and wine for P&O Cruises.
“I always had the idea in my head about honey.
“When I was in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney in July 2019 I got a jar of honey there, and then I also got one from Melbourne.
“When I got home, I lined them up next to four kinds of honey I got from Salisbury. I arranged them in colour order, as you would with wine, and I tasted them all. I was blown away by the results. I had no idea honey could be so varied and exciting.
“That experience stuck with me; I thought now was the time to do something with honey.”
Anthony began selling the honey online in September 2021 and attended several events. After seeing the popularity of his honey at Chalke Valley
Food Festival and events at Hampton Court and Beaulieu, Anthony decided it was time to open his shop.
Since opening on October 20th, Anthony says the response from customers has been overwhelmingly joyful.
“People have enjoyed the look of the shop and have been thrilled that there is a shop in Salisbury dedicated to honey.
“I have also had a lot of mead enthusiasts, who often attend historical reenactment events set in the Tudor or Viking eras.
“These people like to buy or make their own mead. Chalke Valley Food Festival was great for that.
“Mead is a whole separate category of alcoholic beverage. There are hundreds of different styles. There is a dry, sparkling mead similar to prosecco or champagne.
“There is also a sparkling raspberry 12% melomel, the term for fruit juice and honey fermented together in a cask with vanilla pods.
“Melomel can be drunk like a dessert wine. There are also easy drinking Wyke Valley meads that are 4%.
“We have lots of little stocking fillers like small beeswax candles and honey drippers that are all under £10. And we have larger items like books about bees.
“Plus, of course, lots and lots of different types of honey. We always offer free honey samples, so don’t be afraid to ask.”