Hospitality Awards 2023

Best Bee Produce Café & Shop 2023 - Australia Located in the picturesque Swan Valley of Western Australia, The House of Honey acts as a sanctuary for local bees and hives. A family-owned and operated business, the team have been protecting and looking after bees for more than 50 years, and as a nice bonus, delicious raw honey is crafted on-site and sold to our customers The House of Honey is completed by a buzzing on-site café, in addition to offering bee safaris, workshops, tours, and more. We speak with Leigh Taylor to learn more about how the business manages not only its staff, but also its 50 million bees! Founded by the husband-and-wife team of Rupert and Kim, The House of Honey opened its doors back in 2010 as a revolutionary honey showroom. With global bee populations dwindling, the objective was to not only create memorable food experiences, but house bees in sustainably farmed hives where they are safe, all while raising awareness and educating of the integrity of bees to ecosystems around the world. All things honey and bee-related are proudly displayed across the premises, ranging from pollen, royal jelly, and handmade beeswax candles to giftware and beauty products. In addition to offering educational experiences and tourist adventures. All the honey at The House of Honey is produced in-house, overseen by beekeepers who are passionate about the sustainable housing and caring of bees. It is a unique relationship built on respect, with each hive tended to carefully and each colony understood. Visitors can see first-hand how bees are looked after and explore the journey of honey from the hive through to the table. The business is honoured to be famous worldwide for its raw, pure honey crafted right in the heart of Western Australia. With a variety of flavours and fresh mead, the shop, café, and meadery are all well worth the visit. Every day the team strive to make customers feel welcome and valued, with the mission that every customer who leaves the premises with a pot of honey is also walking away with an education about bees and honey, as well as a great experience. Passion, devotion, and belief have provided the formula for the company’s success. When you have such a passion, it is impossible for this not to come across to other staff and customers, and it is this, along with well-implemented policies and procedures, that has enabled the small business to grow from its strong foundations. Since the inception of the company, the expectations of guests have changed somewhat, and the team at The House of Honey are always keen to adapt to these changes to ensure continued success for the business. A 2022 visitor survey carried out by the team revealed that more than half of visitors come to enjoy a meal, and a further 10% for wine tasting. As a result, over the course of the 2022/2023 year, a new decking area was built overlooking the paddock, and the furniture was all refreshed to accommodate an additional 50 people. This was complemented by the revision and subsequent re-launching of a new menu, as well as nominating a ‘Senior’s Day’ where menu items are discounted. Results were seen almost immediately, with café sales increasing by 63% overall. Built and opened in 2015 as a result of customer requests and feedback, the meadery on-site is only the second in Western Australia, with the other being a 7-hour drive from Perth. Upon its opening, 2 meads and 2 liqueurs we available, this has since increased to 6 meads, with mead tastings and beverages being included in several events across the farm, and cellar door tastings also being offered. For the rest of 2023 and beyond, the team at The House of Honey are excited to be expanding into the export business, with a goal to have their products available for sale in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia within the next 12 months. Thanks to the available QR technology, each jar of honey now features a unique code that allows customers to scan and track said jar from the hive to the finished product, creating a unique and personalised experience. Furthermore, new events and experiences are always being added to the calendar, with the most sought after of these being a one-on-one with a beekeeper, an experience for one or two people, where guests spend an hour in a bee suit, up close and personal with the creatures that make it all possible. Everything done at The House of Honey is done for the reason of supporting bees, and the team are determined to uphold this aim well into the future. Contact: Leigh Taylor Company: The House of Honey Web Address: