Hospitality Awards 2022 Page 29 LUXlife Hospitality Awards 2022 When a colony of bees first captured the attention of Rupert Phillips, aged 8, he couldn’t have imagined it would lead to a lifelong passion and career as an apiarist. When Rupert emigrated from his native South Africa to Australia in the 1980s, his love for working with bees continued to grow. Today Rupert, his wife Kim, and the 28-strong staff craft delicious raw honey at The House of Honey. Specialising in pure, unpasteurised varietal honey, The House of Honey uses traditional, sustainable farming methods. Honey is harvested only when the bees have capped the cells. This process means the honey is fully matured. It’s exceptionally tasty and delivers the highest nutritional value. As part of its range, The House of Honey supplies Total Activity (TA) honey containing natural enzymes, which have antimicrobial properties that promote healing. For guests, The House of Honey is much more than a simple honey retailer. Leigh tells us what visitors can expect on their visit, “We treat our guests to a five-sense experience. They taste honey at our tasting bar and hear our beekeeper’s stories. They get to see the bees in our observation hive and smell the honey from a working hive. Then, we get them to suit up and join a tour where they can touch the beehive frames in the buzzing apiary.” Since opening its doors over 12 years ago, The House of Honey has continued to grow its product catalogue. Diversifying into other Based in Swan Valley, Western Australia, The House of Honey is a familyowned business that’s been protecting bees since 2010. As well as producing its range of premium quality honey, The House of Honey has a lively onsite café, The Sticky Spoon, and runs workshops, bee safaris, and tours. We speak to event manager, Leigh Taylor, to find out more. Aug22503 The House Of Honey & The Sticky Spoon Cafe Agritourism Experience of the Year 2022 – Australia honey-based products such as mead, a beeswax range, and bee pollen, the company captivates its customers with its knowledge of all things honey. With much of its operation being customer-facing, The House of Honey recruits staff who are able to not only understand its vision and mission but who are able to represent the brand to visitors. Leigh says, “Our staff have a level of maturity that enables them to understand and respond to customers’ needs. We have many customers who come from different cultures and backgrounds, so that’s important. Our team brings joy to our customers and, of course, have a passion for bees and honey. We want all our visitors to leave having had a great experience. They gain an appreciation of what it takes to make the honey in that little pot that they leave with in their bag.” Staff training at The House of Honey is an ongoing affair. Staff build on their knowledge by interacting with guests and educating consumers about the apiary and its products. Of course, the heroes of The House of Honey are the bees themselves – without them none of this would exist. By carefully tending to each of the 500 hives individually, Rupert and the team safeguard the delicate ecosystems so that both bees and hives can flourish. Despite the recent economic challenges, The House of Honey’s business has continued to flourish. The company launched its new website this year. It features a refreshed shop page and improved online ordering capability. Leigh explains the company’s vision for the future, “Recently we developed an agritourism pathway into tours and workshops. In 2022/2023 we’ll move further into the export market for our high-value products. We’ll also be launching a product tracing QR code for our products. This will enable people to see our bees, learn about our honey, and about TA honey in general.” So far, The House of Honey’s expansion has proved extremely popular. New events and workshops such as beeswax candle making, setting up your own beehive and bee farm tours, often sell out. It is easy to see how it has won Agritourism Experience of the Year 2022 – Australia and we are excited to see how it grows next. Contact: Leigh Taylor Company: The House Of Honey & The Sticky Spoon Cafe Web Address: Email: [email protected]