Established in 2013, Akron Honey Co. is an urban honey company started by Akronite Brent Wesley. He is probably the last person I’d expect to own a honey company. Black and beekeeper are two works that I’ve never heard placed together, but here they are.
When you meet Wesley, the first thing you notice is his smile. It’s wide and bright. He has kind eyes and just oozes compassion. He has the type of personality that draws people to him like bees to honey. But, I think the thing that I like the most is the fact that he’s breaking down stereotypes. He launched Akron Honey Co. with the goal of reactivating a plot of land in a neighborhood.
Since opening their figurative doors, Akron Honey Co. has done some really amazing things. Wesley has vended at various local farm & fleas, Crafty Mart, etc., he’s hosted his own market day several times, was on the local news, introduced students to bees and honey harvesting, added on a skin care line, and was recently featured on Lebron James’ new show, Cleveland Hustles.
I won’t ruin the decision he made on the show, but I will say that this is a man who is all about the Akron community. The photos in this piece are from his most recent Akron Honey Co. Market Day. It’s an event that has eluded me for the past year or so. I missed both the 2015 and the first 2016 one due to either being out of town or just simply forgetting about it. I was lucky enough for there to be a second Market Day a few weeks ago.
They closed off the street next to the flower shop, Every Blooming Thing, and gathered many of the local vendors to showcase their goods. Sweet Mary’s Bakery, Not Yo’ Daddy’s Hot Sauce, Akron Honey Co., Urban Buzz, NOTO, The Square Scullery, Birchwood Supply Co., Apotheclaire, Norka, Every Blooming Thing and Stray Dog (hopefully I didn’t miss anyone) set up shop on the street.
My favorite thing about this is the building of community. Akron’s various scenes have a way of bringing people together. With a DJ spinning in the background, the event seemed like a big block party with all of my friends. And in the end, I think that’s what this is all about. We aren’t just stimulating the local economy by buying goods, we’re also building a network of people who care about one another and willing to collaborate.
Whether it be hosting events or performing for a crowd, Wesley has a habit of making people feel welcome and bringing them together. Keep an eye out on Akron Honey Co. I hear there’s a lot of great things ahead.
Thanks for reading,